For most people, driving is a necessity in our day to day lives. It aids us in errands, allows us to get to work and even helps in taking the kids to schools. But for many handicapped people the luxury of driving a car can seem so far away.
However with the advancement in technology we are able to give these people such a primary tool back into their lives. Below are just some measures and information in place to help handicapped people obtain their license and to assist in handicapped driving.
In New South Wales if you have a physical disability you are still eligible for a fair opportunity in gaining your driver’s license. You can still demonstrate your driving skills in a standard driving test but for many people they are unable to.
However the New South Wales transport and roads and maritime services allow you to take a disability driving test. This takes into consideration your capabilities and any modifications that your vehicle needs in order for you to drive.
Types of handicaps
Different types of disabilities are taken into consideration to grant a fair chance for everyone. Minor disabilities that include loss of fingers and toes, stiffness in joints and uneven limb lengths don’t exclude you from obtaining a license. No medical review or report is necessary as well as a disability driving test provided that the individual has no other conditions that need to be declared.
Serious handicaps that include loss of limbs, loss of more than three fingers on one hand and any other major physical or mental disability requires a disability driving test. This takes into consideration any vehicle modification or aids and appliances to be used when trying to drive.
Modifications and appliances
A condition for people who wear prosthetics or use other appliances to operate a motor vehicle is that its weight and dimensions don’t interfere with the ability to drive.
If you suffer from a leg disability and are unable to use either one of your legs, hand control modifications are required for your vehicle.
If you can only operate one of your legs it is accessible to use that leg for both the accelerator and brake in an automatic car. If your only accessible leg is your left, the accelerator will have to be fitted to the left of the brake pedal unless you get approval from Roads and Maritime to operate the pedals in their normal position.
Arm disabilities may require steering wheel modifications such as an indicator extender. Spinner knobs may be required for those who have lost more than three fingers on one hand. Power steering is also necessary or advisable for this type of handicap.
All modified vehicles must be taken to a registry or service centre so that the conditions of the modifications are safe and also so that you can have these modifications reported on your license and possibly vehicle registration depending on the extent of the modifications.
There are a lot of services out there to aid in all modifications and other handicaps that people may face when attempting handicapped driving. It is also strongly recommended that you contact one of these services before you start any major modification on your vehicle by New South Wales Transport.
Just because you are handicapped doesn’t limit your driving experience. Handicapped driving is legal in Australia with many options available to account for a lot of handicaps and needs.