To make Public Transport more accessible to the wheelchair disabled the Department of Transport has issued `Code of Practice and Special Provision for the Carriage of Wheelchairs on Public Service Vehicles'. The report considers the occupant protection aspects of the Code. Accident data highlights the need to restrain wheelchairs during normal driving as well as in impacts which are most likely to be frontal. Some failures during the static tests of three different designs of wheelchair restraints demonstrated the need for a minimum strength standard. The test force levels given in the Code of Practice err on the side of safety and with experience may be reduced. The static test recommended by the Code is for use in type approval testing and must not be used in equipment that is to continue in service. The test trolley will require modification for the testing of combined wheelchair/occupant restraints. Two designs of restraint were dynamically tested. Increasing the deceleration pulse above the PSV 10 g level, emphasised rather than changed the mode of collapse of the wheelchair and at the higher `g' levels resulted in failure of the combined restraint. (A)

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