Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5537

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING WHEELCHAIR TRANSFER SAFETY.

Vote Date:

3/16/2007

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Change of Reference to Public Health

PH Date:

2/16/2007

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Transportation Committee, Rep. Tom Reynolds, 42nd Dist., Sen. Edith G. Prague, 19th Dist., Rep. Peter J. Panaroni, 102nd Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

To ensure the safe transport of individuals in wheelchairs by requiring the use of devices designed to secure such individuals while being transferred to and from the vehicle.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Rep. Tom Reynolds

This bill would simply require that any vehicle which transport wheelchair bound individuals be required to have and use a restraint device to secure individuals in wheelchairs while the chair is being positioned for transfer and while the individual is being transferred from the vehicle to the ground and from the ground to the vehicle. Many reputable ambulance and transportation companies already follow this practice for safety and liability reasons. It is time to make it law for all transportation entities who assume responsibility for transporting our state's most fragile elderly and disabled residents. The cost is negligible; the gain will be lives saved, injuries avoided, and health care costs reduced.

Nancy Oates

This bill is needed and necessary to protect the elderly, the disabled, and those in need of transportation when they are ill. On June 13, 2004 my mother, a nurse and social worker - and a wheelchair user - fell 4 feet from the doorway of a vehicle that was used to transport wheelchairs. Both legs were completely broken as well as her arm. In horrific pain, she died two weeks later. CT legislative research shows there is no state law requiring seat belts or protective safety devices when individuals are being transferred in a wheelchair onto or off a vehicle for transport. The response to this information by people in CT is profound. People are shocked and horrified. Please ensure that these accidents will not continue to happen by supporting an all inclusive bill that would cover ALL vehicles that transport wheelchairs, as well as safety devices that include a seat belt and shoulder strap.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

No written testimony.

TRANSCRIPT ON FILE.

Reported by: Antonio Peronace

Date: 3/24/07