Automotive Accessibility

Next Up: WC18 Restraint Systems Standards

Now that you’re up to date on standards WC19 (wheelchairs) and WC20 (seating), keep an eye in your rearview mirror for WC18. It’s described by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Wheelchair Transportation Safety as “a revised and updated version of SAE J2249, Wheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles.”

The RERC says WC18 will be published as part of the ANSI/RESNA Wheelchair Standards volume 4, Wheelchairs& Transportation.

“It is the goal of this standard to encourage the design, testing, installation, and use of wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint systems (WTORS) that will provide effective wheelchair securement and occupant restraint for forward-facing occupants in frontal collisions, comparable to that provided by equipment installed by the vehicle manufacturer that must comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards,” the RERC says. “The primary purpose is to reduce the likelihood of serious injuries to wheelchair-seated occupants involved in frontal vehicle crashes. However, it is anticipated that use of equipment that complies with this standard will also result in increased driver and passenger safety and security during normal travel.”

WC18 will apply to WTORS used with forward-facing, wheelchair-seated children and adults who are passengers in privately owned vehicles and to wheelchair-seated passengers in public transportation, including school transportation.

A March story in School Transportation News said, “WC18 centers on lap/shoulder belts that have vehicle-anchored pelvic/lap belts and how they must disconnect the diagonal shoulder portion of the belt restraint from the pelvic portion of the belt by using the standard connector-to-pin-bushing anchorage. Or, the belts must include anchorage ends of the pelvic belt that can be easily inserted through openings in the wheelchairs.”

This article originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Mobility Management.

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