Accessibility & Transportation Safety
Federal government regulations, directives, and other guidance related to accessibility and transportation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for reducing deaths and injuries due to motor vehicle crashes. Since its inception, NMEDA has worked closely with NHTSA by providing technical and other guidance related to automobility-related safety and performance standards. NHTSA also recommends that consumers consider NMEDA QAP accreditation when evaluating the qualifications of a mobility equipment dealer.
NHTSA has developed and enforces two standards of particular importance to the automobility industry:
1. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
FMVSS are standards developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that outline specific requirements of safety systems and testing procedures for motor vehicles that operate in the US. These standards apply to all companies that manufacture, modify, or alter motor vehicles. All NMEDA QAP dealers are required to be registered with NHTSA and sell only mobility vehicles and modifications that comply with the regulations.
2. Make Inoperative Exemptions
These exemptions were developed to facilitate the modification of motor vehicles. Recognizing that it is necessary for the automobility industry to alter or remove federally required safety equipment and features, NHTSA allows registered providers of vehicle modifications to be exempt from the Administration’s Make Inoperative Provisions. In order to avail themselves of the exemptions, all NMEDA QAP dealers are required to register as specialty vehicle modifiers with NHTSA.
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
- Make Inoperative Exemptions
- Adapted Vehicle Modifier Identification Database
- NMEDA Comment Regarding Exemption for the Make Inoperative Prohibition to Accommodate People with Disabilities – March 2022
US Access Board
The US Access Board is an independent federal agency that promotes equality for persons with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards. The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Twelve of its members are representatives from most of the federal departments. Thirteen others are members of the public appointed by the President, a majority of whom must have a disability.
Current mobility industry-related initiatives include:
- Advisory Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs
- Committee for a Study on the Feasibility of Wheelchair Restraint Systems in Passenger Aircraft