I-drive Disability News: AVH supports new campaign to improve safety of wheelchair accessible vehicles
Adapted Vehicle Hire (AVH), the UK’s largest supplier of rental vehicles for the disabled community, is backing a new campaign to improve the safety of wheelchair users on the road.
The campaign is being run by national charity Disabled Motoring UK and is calling for all converted vehicles to be ‘sled tested’ and for a change in the law to improve the safety of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs).
Sled testing is similar to the conventional crash test and involves putting a converted WAV through a head-on collision to check that both belts and their fixings are strong enough to withstand a real-life accident.
The test is the only means of proving that a converted vehicle is safe but currently, there is no legal requirement for a test to be completed, which is potentially putting the lives of disabled passengers at risk.
The campaign will be officially launched by actress Julie Fernandez (The Office), at the Mobility Roadshow in Peterborough on Thursday 21 June.
To generate increased support for the campaign, Disabled Motoring UK has launched an e-petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34003 to put pressure on the government to address the issue.
Commenting on the campaign, Julie Fernandez said: “When I first heard about this I couldn’t and still can’t believe that sled testing isn’t already a requirement for all converted vehicles. I’m really hoping that we raise awareness of the issue and that the e-petition receives enough signatures for the issue to be discussed by the government.”
Managing Director of AVH, Lorraine Farnon, said: “This is a really worthwhile cause and definitely something we are happy to support. Anything that improves the safety of disabled drivers and passengers has to be a good thing, and we are committed to ensuring that, where available, we acquire only sled tested vehicles as we renew our fleet.”
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