In a video that has gone viral from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, a police official – said to be a sub-inspector – is seen opening the door of his Mahindra Bolero, making two riders on a Hero MotoCorp Splendor commuter motorcycle fall. The pillion riding the Hero MotoCorp Splendor quickly gets onto his feet and is initially seen confronting the police sub-inspector for stupidly opening the door of his Mahindra Bolero without checking if anyone was following the MUV. What happens next is just shocking, and looks like a blatant misuse of official power. Here, watch the video for yourself.
इंदौर में पुलिसकर्मी ने पहले तो गलत साइड से गेट खोलकर बाइक सवार को गिराया, फिर डंडे से पिटाई की, बाइक सवार माफी मांगता रहा लेकिन डंडा चलता रहा, आरोपी पुलिसकर्मी निलंबित @ndtvindia @ndtv @vinodkapri pic.twitter.com/MtjwGMGncd
— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) November 9, 2020
As the video indicates, the pillion of the Hero Splendor quickly goes from confronting the cop to pleading with him, with folded hands. The belligerent cop walks to the rear of the Bolero, opens the rear door, brings out his lathi (baton/stick) and starts thrashing the pillion rider who dared to question him. By now, another cop joins the scene of the incident, and is seen placating the cop who is beating up the pillion rider. Even the rider of the Hero Splendor is back on his feet by now, and is trying to defuse the situation. Finally the cop stops thrashing the pillion rider, who seems like an older man. The cop in the Mahindra Bolero, who assaulted the pillion rider of the Hero Splendor, is said to have been suspended from service, according to this Tweet.
Could this have been prevented?
While the cop certainly needs some anger management lessons, he also needs to learn the ‘Dutch Reach’, a safe technique of opening the car’s door. Using this technique, such incidents of drivers opening the car door on pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders or even other cars, can be prevented. Pioneered by the Dutch as its name suggests, the Dutch Reach essentially involves using the left hand to open the door on the right, and the right hand to open the door on the left. Here is a video that shows the technique in action.
When the left hand is used to open a door on the right hand side, the person opening the door swivels around. This swiveling action allows her/him to take a quick look behind. This glance is the safety measure that ensures that the driver doesn’t open the car’s door into an approaching pedestrian or vehicle. It’s said that the Dutch teach this simple yet highly effective life saving technique even to kids, thus making their roads a lot safer.
Indian roads are generally quite crowded, not just with other cars and two wheelers, but also with pedestrians, vendors and assorted traffic including cyclists and hand carts. Opening the car’s door into traffic is something that’s very common in India, and the Dutch Reach can certainly help prevent a lot of injuries, and even lives being lost. So, teach this technique to everyone you know, and also do ensure that you practice the Dutch Reach every time you open a car’s door from inside the vehicle.