Labels to help identify safe wheelchairs in new campaign

21st November 2012 - Fine Cut

Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) is encouraging disabled people and their carers to "Look for the Label" in a new campaign that could help save the lives of disabled vehicle passengers.

Custom labels are being offered out by the charity to wheelchair manufacturers who can prove that their accessible vehicles have the relevant safety certificate that ensure they've been given the ok for car use.

To pass the comprehensive ECWVTA.M1.SH safety standard, manufacturers must be able to show that their wheelchairs can withstand head-on collisions with little injury or movement to the occupant.

Telegraph.co.uk explains that the certification process involves simulating the real experience of a crash. Companies are required to put their products through crash testing, where the strengths of the belts and other fixings are established.

Because some cars are modified from their original designs to carry disabled passengers, this testing process is even more important. In a worst-case scenario, a badly-modded vehicle can - such as one that has had its floor lowered - can put disabled passengers at greater risk.

Commenting on the initiative, Helen Dolphin, director of policy and campaigns for DMUK, said on newstoday.co.uk: "There are over 60 tests for converted vehicles to achieve the ECWVTA.M1.SH certification - these include the vital crash test. The idea of the labels has been borrowed from the food industry as a quick and easy way for people to identify vehicles which are safe."

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