Madden/Sarlo Bill To Protect Wheelchair-Bound Passengers Is Now Law

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden and Paul Sarlo, which would require wheelchair-bound riders in passenger vehicles to be secured using a wheelchair securement device has been signed into law by Governor Corzine.

“In an accident, an unsecured wheelchair could be thrown forward through a windshield, seriously injuring its occupant, other passengers in the car, and others nearby,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “By requiring these wheelchair-bound passengers to be secured while riding, we can help to prevent these types of accidents and increase safety on our roadways.”

“As New Jersey’s population continues to grow, so does the amount of traffic on our roadways,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “Increased traffic could lead to an increase in the number of dangerous accidents. This legislation would help to reduce this type of preventable accident, and make our roads safer for all who travel through New Jersey.”

The Senators’ bill, S-989, calls for all wheelchair passengers to be secured with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards approved securement device.

Under the law, “passenger automobiles” includes vans, pick-up trucks and utility vehicles.

Failure to comply with the law’s provisions will result in a $100 fine for drivers.

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