Wheelchair safety standards on school buses

Transportation directors and fleet managers face increasing pressure to answer the question of wheelchair safety standards on their school buses.  Recent changes in the standards of wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint systems (or WTORS) have added additional considerations to the safe transportation of passengers.  RESNA WC18 is the latest version of industry-accepted crashworthiness evaluation standards. Whether you are a district transportation executive or a parent of a standard that uses wheelchair transportation on buses, it is important to have someone to ask about the equipment necessary to follow these new standards.

A recent study by manufacturer Q’Straint entitled “The Benefits of Implementing Wheelchair Securement Standards” found that while more than 50% of relevant district staff had some familiarity with any kind of wheelchair safety standard, less than 20% could name any specific standards off the top of their heads.  Only 13% reported that they knew of someone specific within their district championing compliance with these standards. Learning the standards themselves and then finding a service partner that can install the equipment necessary to meet those standards are daunting challenges for a busy, budget-restricted transportation director.

For example, WC18 includes a checklist that is more than 3 pages long, and includes such checkpoints as: “The WTORS shall not require removal of wheelchair base or seat frame material, drilling into the wheelchair base or seat frame, deformation of the wheelchair, welding or the use of an adhesive process to connect any WTORS components to the wheelchair unless the WTORS is intended for a specific wheelchair model and the modifications are approved by the wheelchair manufacturer. “ Such a standard requires a go-to service provider.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by these standards, Kansas Truck Equipment is uniquely suited to be your partner in wheelchair safety standards on buses. We are a leading school bus distributor and the sole distributor for Blue Bird school buses.  We are also a leading adaptive mobility equipment provider. Our mobility department takes great pride in our extensive experience in wheelchair transportation solutions, which applies to more than just school buses.  There really is no better service provider to call for your bus parts needs!

Let us know on our contact page what your current and future needs are, and we will be in touch!