The new Code for the Safe Transport of Wheelchair Occupants (VVR) came into effect on 1 January 2021. Regardless of whether a wheelchair meets the ISO guideline, and therefore has been crash-tested, drivers must therefore consider whether a wheelchair can be safely secured and transported. But how does this work in practice? Social Fund Mobility (SFM) clarifies this in a free online training.

To provide clarity to the driver and passenger, it was intended that as of 1 January only passengers in crash-tested seats were allowed to be taken. However, according to SFM, practice has now shown that if wheelchairs cannot be crash tested, that does not automatically mean that they cannot be safely secured and transported. Custom-made wheelchairs in particular cannot receive a crash test sticker and should therefore not be taken along. This while it is precisely the people who have such a wheelchair often dependent on door-to-door transport, according to SFM.

At the same time, there are also wheelchairs that do comply with the ISO guideline, but which are not easy to fix in practice. For this reason, the crash test requirement has not been implemented with the start of 2021 and will not yet happen in the future. Instead, all wheelchairs should be checked to see if they can be safely secured and transported on the basis of what the VVR Code prescribes.

Resolve ambiguity The responsibility for the safety of the passengers rests with the driver. For this reason, SFM considers it of great importance that the Code VVR is clear and that the assessment of whether a wheelchair can be transported safely is properly made. The thirty-minute online training ‘Code VVR’ should help with this. On the basis of nineteen questions, drivers learn more about safe wheelchair transport as laid down in the Code VVR.

Drivers do not have to study anything in advance for the training. They can start immediately. SFM states that people learn best and fastest when they first have to think for themselves. According to the foundation, this is best done by answering questions yourself. Extensive feedback is given after each question, so that participants also learn from it. If enough questions are answered correctly, they will receive a certificate.

Unlimited to repeat The training is primarily intended for wheelchair bus drivers, but can also be of interest to other people involved in wheelchair transport. This could include contact persons at day care, informal carers and volunteers. And although the online training resembles a test because of the assessment of knowledge and the reward with a certificate, the important thing is that something is learned. The score that is achieved is not visible to anyone else and, moreover, the training can be repeated indefinitely.

Read also:

ILT is working on better control wheelchair transport with course of ABC This is how the alternative to the current BCT of the ILT will work ‘Lack of guidance for novice drivers is a bad thing’

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