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Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle requirements

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) must meet a range of important requirements to ensure the safety of passengers.

It’s the responsibility of the vehicle owner and the driver to ensure:

  • each vehicle is equipped with the necessary restraint systems to safely secure each wheelchair and its occupant
  • the vehicle has a functioning air conditioner/heater and
  • all the equipment is maintained in good working order.

This forms part of the duty of care in the supply of commercial passenger vehicle services to people in wheelchairs.

CPVV’s requirements are included in the Determination of Specifications for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (CPVV WAV Specifications).

There are also Commonwealth requirements related to WAVs set out in the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (DSAPT).

Information on this page

Allocated Floor Space

Each wheelchair position (allocated floor/ceiling space) must be allocated at least 1300mm (length) x 800mm (width) x 1500mm (height) as required by the DSAPT.

Image of a WAT vehicle with the outline of its allocated floor space for one passenger.Image of a WAT vehicle with the outline of its allocated floor space for two passengers.

Door entry

Update: September 2019

Please note that we are currently reviewing the CPVV WAV Specifications for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles  to align with the DSAPT and clarify that:

  • doorways must have an unobstructed vertical height of at least 1500 mm (mirroring the DSAPT); and
  • doorways must also have an unobstructed width of at least 800 mm (this requirement is specific to the Victorian Specification).

Wheelchair/Occupant restraint systems

Each wheelchair position must be fitted with a:

  • wheelchair restraint system, and
  • an occupant restraint system (seat belts).

1. Seat belts

Seat belts must be a:

  • lap and sash emergency locking retractor type, or a
  • lap and harness type assembly.

A lap only seat belt is not a compliant restraint system for people in wheelchairs.

Image of woman being restrained in a Wheelchair Accessible Taxi.

2. Wheelchair restraint systems

  • Wheelchairs must be securely tied down at four (4) points.
  • Wheelchair restraints must be free from fraying, tears and knots.
  • All restraints must be installed to ensure a universal correct fitting and comply with the applicable Australian/New Zealand standards*.

3. Hoists

Hoists fitted to WAVs must:

  • be securely mounted to the vehicle
  • have a skid resistant loading surface, and
  • have approach edges with an outer roll stop that is effective when the hoist is raised off the ground.

4. Ramps

Any ramp fitted to a WAV, when commencing service, must have a gradient (slope) no steeper than one in six (1 in 6) and a width of no less than 800mm.

Hoists and ramps should be serviced regularly by the manufacturer or its agent to ensure the equipment remains in good working order.

Hoists and ramps must comply with the applicable Australian/New Zealand Standards^.

Inspection of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria continues to inspect WAVs to ensure they comply with the CPVV WAV Specifications . This includes making sure each WAV has the correct type and number of restraints to match the number of wheelchair positions.

Failure to comply with the WAV requirements may result in compliance action against the vehicle owner and/or driver.

Disability standards for accessible public transport

WAVs are required to comply with the Commonwealth’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002. These contain standards for WAVs related to:

  • ramps
  • door entry
  • boarding
  • allocated space
  • grabrails
  • signs
  • alarms.

You can find further information about the Disability standards for accessible public transport on the Attorney General’s website

More information

For any enquiries contact us.

Further information, including a WAV driver handbook, can be found in Wheelchair accessible vehicle driver endorsement