Standards Australia releases revised motor vehicle controls standard for drivers with disabilities

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Standards Australia has released a new and improved motor vehicle controls standard that will benefit up to four million Australians living with disabilities. 

Developed in consultation with the broad automotive sector, rehabilitation engineers, disability advocacy groups and vehicle modification experts, the new standard aims to make it possible for people with disabilities to go about their daily life and have the same freedom other Australians experience.

Mr Adrian O’Connell, Acting CEO of Standards Australia, said the revised standard for motor vehicle controls sets a benchmark for adaptive systems in vehicles, allowing for more tailored solutions for particular drivers’ needs rather than being restricted by design constraints.

“We’re incredibly proud to work with the community that supports thousands of Australians living with disability,” Mr O’Connell added.

“This standard is intended to enable more people with disability to drive safely, giving them access to greater mobility and more freedom in their everyday life – an incredible achievement we are proud to have helped deliver.”

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Kristen Morris, Senior Rehabilitation Engineer and Chairperson of the Standard Committee, said design constraints within the Standard are restricted to aspects concerning safety and conformance with Australian Design Rules for vehicles.

“It will prove helpful for drivers, funders and insurers, those who design and install adaptive systems and transport authorities. It provides performance based criteria to establish what a safe and quality product looks like,” she continued.

“As programs like the National Disability Insurance Scheme focus on individualised solutions that achieve better outcomes for consumers, this guidance will be particularly important.

“With only one other global standard in place, this Standard shines a spotlight on how Australia is leading the charge for people with disabilities.”

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