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August 01, 2012  |   Comments (4)   |   Post a comment

Bill would set inspection standards for wheelchair lifts


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Legislation has been introduced in the Ohio General Assembly that would establish inspection and repair standards for wheelchair lifts installed on vehicles used to transport students.

Under House Bill 557, the Ohio Department of Public Safety would adopt and enforce the inspection rules, and in adopting them, they would be permitted to consult with wheelchair lift manufacturers.

The rules would require that each wheelchair lift installed on a vehicle used for pupil transportation be inspected by a person certified by the original manufacturer of the wheelchair lift if that manufacturer is available to certify inspectors for its lifts. The regulations would also establish guidelines for alternative certification of inspectors if a wheelchair lift manufacturer is not available to certify inspectors.

The Department of Public Safety would develop and provide a form to be used and signed by a certified inspector when attesting that the wheelchair lift is in compliance with the rules adopted under the legislation.

The inspection from a certified person would be performed in addition to the state highway patrol’s inspection of wheelchair lifts as part of school bus inspections currently required under Ohio law.

Any repair on a wheelchair lift would need to be made by a person who has been certified under the provisions of the bill. A person who is not certified could perform routine maintenance on the lift.

In addition, no one would be permitted to operate a vehicle used for pupil transportation unless it has passed a certified inspection. Violators would be guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  

Other recent articles on wheelchair lifts:

Simplifying wheelchair lifts

Focused on occupant safety

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Read more about: Ohio, wheelchair lifts

I haven't heard or read anymore about this issue of wheel chair lifts requiring certified inspectors by manufacturers. Really, unless your school system is running "junk" old wheel chair lifts, the manufacturers put out a heavy-duty product to begin with that only requires basic maintenance. If there are others reading this that have more input in this article that most of us are missing please enlighten us. The worst problems I encountered with wheel chair lifts is drivers and monitors sent out on a special needs bus who had no training what-so-ever. That happened twice and never again since I addressed the dangers to the students being serviced by the wheel chair lift buses. Other than that - we repair our own in-house with manufacturer's original equipment parts. Dan - Indiana.

Dan Luttrell    |    Aug 24, 2012 12:46 PM

I especially appreciate the effort and good intentions with this Ohio Bill. Evidently there was a need to generate such a Bill. In all my eight years of driving a special needs route when I first started working for our school system wheel chair lifts progressively improved over the years. I have used several brands. Braun Lifts did allow for me to attend their one day training seminar at their factory plant in northern Indiana. Matter of fact the inventor/owner, CEO, if you will, came to work in his wheel chair and pulled in right beside me that morning. Great people and great product. Any wheel chair lift company usually has their product information along with trouble shooting technical help on CD's anymore. Most times you can download from the internet. In the link section of school bus sites they usually have wheel chair manufacturers contact info according to what lifts you use in you fleet on on your individually owned bus. Major school system fleet shops who do major repairs in-house have certified technicians and they may be willing to provide you a contact for where to go for certification purposes respecting your wheel chair lifts. I recommend to order parts directly from the manufacturer. All have 800 phone numbers and it is best to speak directly with the parts department personnel. They to can provide certification information for their wheel chair lifts. Yes, I agree that State Police agencies DOT Inspectors are very well qualified to inspect buses. However when a wheel chair lift is in need of repair - usually it is due to lack of preventative maintenance. Major school systems fleet repair shops already know how to make in-house repairs. Those who have no business working on technical equipment should leave that type of repairs to certified personnel. Most are installed when the bus is purchased. Should an individual install a wheel chair lift and tie-downs they need to follow installation specifications. There are federal regulations on exactly wher

Dan Luttrell    |    Aug 16, 2012 05:39 AM

I think the inspection that the OSP gives is enough that would cost the Schools way more money some of these people setting behind a desk pushing for these kind of mandates need to work in the real world a while and deal with these buses with wheelchair lifts

Terry    |    Aug 07, 2012 11:24 AM

Has this been a issue?

PatB    |    Aug 04, 2012 04:35 PM

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