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Adapted Vehicle Hire News Updates: New campaign launched for safer wheelchair accessible vehicles

A new campaign calling for safer wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) has been launched by Disabled Motoring UK in association with Constables Mobility.

The ‘No Compromises!’ campaign is fighting for a change in legislation relating to converted vehicles and encouraging car buyers to request a sled testing certificate – the only way to check a vehicle is as safe as possible – before making a purchase.

According to Disabled Motoring UK, up to 50 per cent of converted vehicles fail the sled test, despite passing a number of other less vital tests. The sled test involves a dummy being strapped into a wheelchair within the car, which is then put through head-on collisions to check that both the belts and their fixings are strong enough to withstand a real-life accident and keep the wheelchair passenger secure.

Under current legislation, effective from 29 April 2012, WAVs are required to meet the European standard before being converted and any changes made during the conversion process need to be tested. However, Disabled Motoring UK and Constables are highlighting that not every conversion will have passed the same tests and there is no guarantee that sled testing has been carried out.

Helen Dolphin, Director of Policy and Campaigns, said: “It is amazing that vehicles are being sold that may not be safe for the drivers and their disabled passengers and we feel strongly that this must stop. We will be calling on the Government to change legislation so that people don’t unknowingly purchase unsafe vehicles. Alongside this we will be educating people to make sure they ask the right questions before purchasing a converted car.”

Constables Mobility’s Managing Director David Constable added: “Every Constables Mobility conversion has been successfully tested to meet and exceed the latest European safety standards and we believe that all converters should be made to carry out the same tests.”

We will keep you posted on further campaign developments via I-drive.

Constables Mobility is one of Adapted Vehicle Hire’s trusted converters. For more information on our WAVs, click here.