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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
  • has functioning air conditioner/heater and
  • all of 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.

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 Commonwealth Government's Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (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.

Wheelchair/Occupant restraint systems

Each wheelchair position must be fitted with a:

  • wheelchair restraint system, and
  • 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 standards. 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 actions against the vehicle owner and/or driver.

More information

For any enquiries contact us. A new Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Driver Handbook will soon be available on the website. Follow CPVV eNews for updates.