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How to Secure Wheelchairs on Vans & Buses

Updated November 21, 2016

Whenever you are travelling on a bus with someone in a wheelchair, you want to make sure they are secure. If the wheelchair is not secured, then not only could the occupant be hurt, but also others. When it comes to securing a wheelchair, you want to make sure you are using the WTORS method. WTORS stands for Wheelchair Tie-down Occupant Restraint System. It secures not only the wheelchair, but it also provides the occupant with a seat belt.

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  1. Ensure that you use the safest wheelchair for transportation. The WC19 wheelchair was not only designed for transportation, but it has been tested for use in motor vehicles. It also comes with four crash-tested straps that will attach to the wheelchair and tie it down. If you do not have a WC19 wheelchair, then you need to at least use the WTORS method.

  2. Place the wheelchair facing forward toward the windshield. Make sure it is in the most upright position. It should never be reclined.

  3. Locate the four tie-down straps that are mounted onto the bus floor. Attach the tie-down straps to the wheelchair tightly, and to the four anchors on the wheelchair. The anchors look like hooks, and they are located above and behind the chair's front wheels.

  4. Snap the lap and shoulder belt over the wheelchair's occupant. Make sure you don't attach the lap and shoulder belts to the four tie down straps. The proper position for a shoulder belt is across the middle of the shoulder and centre of the chest. The lap belt should be positioned near the upper thigh, across the front of the pelvis.

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Things You'll Need

  • WTORS restraint system
  • WC19 wheelchair or travelling wheelchair

About the Author

Krista Raye

Krista Raye is a Steel Magnolia who began writing professionally in 2009 with eHow, Answerbag and Trails. She has 10 years teaching experience in middle and high schools. Raye holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Bachelor of Science in secondary English education and a Master of Arts in adolescent English education.

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