Standards Australia in collaboration with the automotive sector, rehabilitation engineers, therapists, disability advocacy groups, and vehicle modification experts, has worked to revise and improve the standard for motor vehicle controls for people with disabilities.
The updated AS 3954:2019, Motor vehicle driver controls – Adaptive systems for people with disabilities standard sets a benchmark for motor vehicle controls for people with disabilities. The standard emphasises performance requirements for vehicle controls rather than design constraints. This allows for tailored solutions for particular driver’s needs that meet minimum safety requirements. Design constraints within the standard are restricted to aspects concerning safety and conformance with Australian Design Rules for vehicles.
“We’re incredibly proud to work with the community that supports thousands of Australians living with disability,” Standards Australia Acting CEO Adrian O’Connell said.
“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,” O’Connell said.
AS 3954:2019 helps to ensure consistency and rigour to how motor vehicle controls are fitted to vehicles.
Kristen Morris, senior rehabilitation engineer and chairperson of the Standard Committee said AS 3954:2019 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,” Morris said. “As programs like the National Disability Insurance Scheme focus on individualized 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.”