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.
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