Motorhomes and campervans have traditionally been vehicles chosen by disabled people and their carers as the sort of vehicle ideal for transporting people in wheelchairs or other modes of mobility demanded by their illness.
Over the years motorhome insurance providers have got used to providing specialised cover on vehicles that have been adapted for their owner’s specific requirements. Now a leading UK charity are attempting to introduce a labelling system that will inform travellers, disabled motorists, their carers and emergency rescue teams whether the vehicle has been properly crash tested.
Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) are behind the labelling scheme and they say it is extremely important because many vehicles that are converted to carry wheelchair passengers have to be structurally altered to facilitate their new owner. DMUK believe occupant safety is put in jeopardy if the conversion company are not proficient at what they do and the charity is now offering a compliance label to companies which can prove their wheelchair accessible vehicles have the relevant ECWVTA.M1.SH safety certificate.
There is no doubt that the certificate is difficult to acquire; the crash testing part of the certificate sees a dummy strapped into a wheelchair within the vehicle, which is then put through a series of head-on collisions at different speeds to check that the belts and their fixings are robust enough to cope with the collision, and keep the wheelchair passenger secure. Helen Dolphin, the Director of Policy and Campaigns at the charity, revealed that the crash test dummy is just one of 60 tests converted vehicles have to successfully pass to get the ECWVTA.M1.SH certificate and she believes companies who have converted vehicles to such a high standard will be only too pleased to advertise the fact on the new labels.