I floated my idea past several cycling advocates, who predictably agreed that more public awareness would be better. But Northeastern University professor Peter Furth, a specialist in urban transportation, offered another compelling suggestion.
When Furth lived in the Netherlands, he had to obtain a Dutch driver’s license. Driver training is far more extensive there, costing the average person $2,000 to $4,000, and even after such training, many applicants fail their exam, he said. One of the ways they fail, in fact, is by forgetting to look for bicyclists during their road test.
“Everyone is taught to look twice. First as you are approaching an intersection, glance to your right. Then at the last minute before you make your turn, take a second look,” he said.
“They also train you very strictly to always look for cyclists before you open your door. The test always ends when you pull into a parking spot and they say, ‘OK, you are done.’ If you don’t look behind you before you open the door, you fail the test.”