This March, the Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM), a statewide organization dedicated to improving the mobility of all of Maryland’s citizens, designates March as Wheelchair Safety and Securement Awareness Month. According to the United States Census, the percentage of individuals with disabilities that use public transportation is 6% and 3.3 million individuals over the age of 15 use mobility devices such as wheelchairs.
Transit agencies have the responsibility to provide safe transportation and respect the civil rights of all passengers, including those who use mobility devices. In order to fulfill this responsibility, bus operators secure mobility devices and place seat belts on the passengers who use mobility devices as transit seating. This important task is becoming increasingly challenging as operators are confronted with a variety of powered mobility devices that often lack traditional securement points and may not have been addressed in basic securement training.
By bringing awareness to this issue, TAM hopes that all those who participate in the transportation of individuals with disabilities will take a moment during the month of March and review their processes and procedures for conducting these types of activities.
For a list of free training opportunities and additional information on Wheelchair Safety and Securement Awareness Month, please visit the TAM website at www.TAMInc.org/wheelchair.