I have extensive knowledge of wheelchair securement systems, lifts, and ramps. I have been the Operations Manager for a paratransit company which had a 75% wheelchair ratio for passengers carried. I also was the Transportation Director for United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland where we transported over 200 clients daily in paratransit services. I worked as a Project Manager for 7 years to develop best practices for the accessible transportation industry. I also worked for the Community Transportation Association of America for 11 years training personnel in the paratransit industry, and I have conducted training on developing policies and procedures for transit agencies.
The state of the art in wheelchair transportation is to secure the wheelchair to the floor of the motor vehicle with a “4-point tie down” or equivalent that will maintain its position during both crash conditions and excessive vehicle motions during transport. Additionally, the passengers are supposed to be seatbelted with a lap belt and shoulder restraint, as seen in passenger vehicles. The 4-point securement system should be deployed such that the mobility aid does not move during ordinary vehicle motions. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) wheelchair section provides that securements are supposed to also limit the lateral movement of the front end to 2″ or less. It also provides that drivers and other transportation personnel are specifically trained in their duties. The specific language of the regulations is in CFR part 49. The driver appears to have failed in his duty to secure the wheelchair and the passenger. He further failed to employ first aid protocols for determining the passenger was or was not able to be moved. Not reporting the incident to the medical facility or his employer is a dereliction of his duties, and possibly counter to company policy and procedures.