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severe injuries and trauma increases. Not only should the child be secured, as should the wheelchair or mobility device the child uses. Although wheelchair securement practices have significantly


progressed since early days when bungee cords or rope were used to tie chairs down, securing mobility devices remais a challenge with the use of larger, heavier power chairs. “In the last 10 to 15 years it’s become pretty clear that the


problem of securing mobility devices, especially some large power chairs, are really getting worse than getting better,” said Darren Reaume, the national training manager for Q’Straint and Sure- Lok, a developer of wheelchair passenger safety solutions for public and private transportation. Unfortunately, there is no “one-chair-fits-all” size available, or a


single rule to follow when it comes to safety for wheelchairs on bus- es, he added. He made his comments during a free STN webinar in late that covered mobility securement. Nearly 400 webinar attendees from across the country, including student transporters and transit agency representatives, listened as Reaume shared three steps to follow when ensuring mobility safety. “Te first (rule) in securing the chair is to make sure you put the


retractors and securements in the right place on the floor,” he advised, stressing the significance of identifying a welded frame member to attach the securements to.


Reaume said that since most wheelchairs are not originally intended to be transported, there is often no specific area recom- mend for attachments. He added that decisions come down to the transporter’s ability to select a stable section of the frame that won’t come apart during the vehicle’s operation. Te next rule Reaume stated was to adjust the correct angle for securing the wheelchair to the bus floor. For the front of the chair, the securement is recommended to be at a 40- to 60-degree angle and as close as possible to 45 degrees for the rear. Finally, the third rule regards using a direct path to the attachment point of the chair. Looping securements through the wheels and around frame members, for instance, is never recommended. Aside from Reaume’s guidelines, an acronym all school bus driv- ers should be skilled with is WC-18, a Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) standard for wheelchair tie downs and occupant restraint systems (WTORS) that secure wheelchairs and provides crash protection for all wheelchair users. Although using tie downs, restraint systems and lifts on school


buses are helpful when transporting students in wheelchairs, what about the use of low-floor or flat-floor buses to increase mobility for students with disabilities? Low-floor buses designed to be 15 to 16 inches off the ground


Congratulations on Another Successful School Year


Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to wrap up your existing runs. What comes next? Will next year see you using the same tools and processes, or will they be new and improved?


The Versatrans® and Traversa® software solutions from Tyler Technologies could be exactly what you need to take your program to the next level in the coming year. And our Tyler Drive™ on-board tablet is revolutionizing the industry by making routes, timekeeping, student ridership and inspections accessible from the road.


To learn about the industry’s most complete solutions, go to tylertech.com/transportation.


24 School Transportation News • MAY 2017


CELEBRATING25YEARS


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