Standards Australia has announced an improved standard that sets a benchmark for motor vehicle controls for people with disability, ensuring consistency and rigour to how motor vehicle controls are fitted to vehicles.
The standard emphasises performance requirements for vehicle controls rather than design constraints allowing for tailored solutions for particular driver’s needs that meet minimum safety requirements.
Design constraints within the standard are restricted to aspects concerning safety and conformance with Australian Design Rules for vehicles.
“We’re incredibly proud to work with the community that supports thousands of Australians living with disability,” Standards Australia acting CEO, Adrian O’Connell said. “This standard is intended to enable more people with disability to drive safely, giving them access to greater mobility and more freedom in their everyday life.”
The standard will prove helpful for drivers, funders and insurers, those who design and install adaptive systems and transport authorities, Standard Committee chair, Kristen Morris said. “It provides performance based criteria to establish what a safe and quality product looks like. As programs like the National Disability Insurance Scheme focus on individualised solutions that achieve better outcomes for consumers, this guidance will be particularly important. With only one other global standard in place, this standard shines a spotlight on how Australia is leading the charge for people with disabilities.”
Standards Australia has been working with the broad automotive sector, rehabilitation engineers, therapists, disability advocacy groups and vehicle modification experts to improve the standard (AS 3954:2019, Motor vehicle driver controls – Adaptive systems for people with disabilities).
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics over four million Australians are living with a disability which may affect their mobility or access to public and private transport.
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