Ministry bats for standard norms for modifying vehicles for differently-abled

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on April 29, 2021

Road Ministry has proposed common standards for retrofitting vehicles for the differently-abled and issuing a driving licence.

At present, it is left to the discretion of each States according to SP Singh, Senior Fellow, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT).

A team of experts from Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), All India Institute of Physical Medicines and Rehabilitation, Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Gujarat Road Safety Authority have proposed detailed designs for various kind of disabilities so that the common standards can be readied. These vehicles, based on international best practices, are also termed adaptive vehicles, as per the Motor Vehicle Amendment 2019.

As per the proposed standard operating procedure, a differently-abled driver who approaches the Regional Transport Authority for driving licence will be referred to the Civil Surgeon with a ‘Referral Letter’. The Civil Surgeon or All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation will examine the individual and issue a Driving Fitness Certificate.

Modifications suggested

The Fitness Certificate also suggests modifications that the differently-abled person would require. The driving fitness certificate also states that the person is fit to drive an automatic transmission or manual transmission fitted with hand controls. The vehicle will be registered in the name of differently abled persons.

After that, the vehicle alteration form, required for registration, with details of modification has to be submitted before the the RTO permits fitment of hand controls.

Various conditions

A range of physical conditions are covered including partical or full disability of limbs, stature, muscle strength, flexibility and range of motion; co-ordination and reaction time; judgment and decision-making abilities and ability to drive with adaptive equipment, says the document. If both hands (partial or full) are disabled, it may be considered under a special case.

Published on April 29, 2021

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