Wheelchair Transport Laws

Written by daniel westlake
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Wheelchair Transport Laws
Certain seats are set aside for people in wheelchairs on public transportation. (wheelchair space image by Shirley Hirst from Fotolia.com)

People who are in wheelchairs have had certain laws established for them which allow them and their wheelchairs to move as easily as possible from place-to-place, ride on public transportation and have access to most businesses and establishments. It is important to know these laws if you are in a wheelchair and if you are a business owner.

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Public Transport Seats

On public transportation, like buses or subways, special seats are designated for disabled people in general but especially those who use wheelchairs. These seats have ample amounts of space around them so that someone in a wheelchair can lift themselves out of the seat to sit down and then also stow or keep their wheelchair and other belongings beside them. While people without disabilities can sit in that seat, they must give the seat up to someone who is disabled and needs it when they get on the bus or train. People in wheelchairs are advised not to stay in their wheelchairs while on public transport as they can roll and hurt themselves or others, but they do not have to use the seats designated for them.

School Buses

When transporting people who are in wheelchairs in school buses, certain safety requirements must be in place to keep the wheelchair from rolling or being thrown forward in the event of an accident. Seat belts should be installed for the wheelchair in the bus itself. Modifications should be made to both the wheelchair and the bus in order to lock it into place and keep it from rolling forward when the bus moves, comes to a sudden stop or is in an accident. Seat belts should also be made to keep the disabled person's body from moving or head and neck from snapping forward, if they are unable to move their upper bodies on their own.

Motorised Scooters

In many places, hotels and grocery stores are also required to have working motorised scooters on hand for their disabled customers to use to shop in their store or go from floor-to-floor in their hotel. This is a cheaper solution for the store or hotel to allow those in wheelchairs to easily transport themselves. The batteries on these motorised scooters should be fully charged and fully operable at all times and there should be a set number of them available, like handicapped parking spaces. the laws on the necessary availability of these motorised scooters vary from state-to-state.

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