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Road Users

Wheelchair restraints

The use of wheelchair restraints in vehicles.

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.

Frequently asked questions

It is defined as ‘a safety belt which has been specifically designed or adapted for use by a person with a physical handicap or disability and which is intended for use solely by such a person.’

Wheelchairs must be securely attached to the vehicle using proper tie-down designed to keep the wheelchair restrained within the wheelchair space and occupant restraint systems so that no danger is likely to be caused. The same applies to securing disability aids e.g., walking sticks.

No. A person who is wearing a belt as part of a wheelchair restraint system and or holds a medical cert from a registered medical practitioner does not have to wear a regular seat belt.

The National Standards Authority of Ireland ( NSAI) can provide more specific guidance on recommended or approved standards for the installation of wheelchair restraints in brand new unregistered vehicles. Only type approved wheelchair restraints can be installed and this can only be done by restraints manufacturer.

Yes. You can contact The Irish Wheelchair Association ( IWA) at 090 647 1118 or email [email protected]

The ( NSAI) can provide more specific guidance on recommended or approval standards for the installation of wheelchair restraints in brand new or unregistered vehicles. Only type approved wheelchair restraints can be installed and this approval can only be obtained by restraints manufacturer.

Step 1. Contact the original manufacturer or authorised distributor to find out if it is possible to carry out these modifications or changes and whether there are any safety implications.

Step 2. Contact your local motor tax office (MTO) to ensure that this type of modification is permitted and what documentation they require.

Yes.

  • If your vehicle is a bus you will need seat belt certification.
  • If your vehicle has been physically modified since its last roadworthiness test then you will also need to present a modifications report that can be downloaded from NCT Manual for passenger vehicles or CVRT Manuals for commercial vehicles.
  • A modifications report has to be certified by an approved test centre or suitably qualified individual e.g. mechanical engineer on Engineers Ireland or SIMI.

No. There is currently no legal requirement for this. However, we recommend that wheelchair tie- down and occupant-restraint systems meet with the requirements of ISO 10542; and that there is wheelchair back support solutions incorporating a headrest available to fit to vehicles equipped with appropriate floor tracking systems. For more information refer to UN-ECE-R107.

This is not a legal requirement for transporting disabled persons. If in the event of a collision the driver became incapacitated and the occupants would encounter difficulties exiting the vehicle, we would recommend installing buzzers which would alert the driver should one of the rear doors open either accidently or otherwise.

You will need to contact Revenue to enquire whether you need to declare the conversion and whether changes to your vehicle registration tax (VRT) may apply.

This will depend on who is tasked with clamping down the wheelchairs e.g., driver or assistant. From the point of view of training for work you should contact the Health and Safety Authority ( HSA).