The Illinois Secretary of State will now be required to include the “Dutch Reach” as a part of the Rules of the Road for Illinois motorists. The “Dutch Reach” is where a motorist opens the car door with their right hand. This action naturally requires the driver to look over their left shoulder and towards oncoming traffic. The goal of the “Dutch Reach” is to teach motorists to always check for oncoming cyclists prior to opening their vehicle door into traffic and to prevent doorings.
“No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”
As clarified in the 2017 Illinois bike law known as “Dennis’ Law,” a bicycle is a vehicle under Illinois law. According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, doorings area plague to Chicago cyclists in particular. In 2015 there were 302 cases of doorings. There were 203 in 2014, 270 in 2013, 334 reported in 2012 and 336 in 2011, the first full year IDOT collected data on the number of doorings.