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Safety Guidelines

The number one goal of OATS Transit has always been to safely transport our riders to their destination.  To help us achieve this goal, the following guidelines have been set:


Scooters: Three-wheeled scooters present a major safety risk when being transported because of their propensity to tip. This is due to the size and center of gravity of a scooter with a client seated on it. The safest way for riders who use scooters to board an OATS vehicle is to board the vehicle on foot with assistance from the driver. It is OATS policy to request that riders using scooters transfer to a regular seat to ensure you are safely secured using a seat belt. The scooter can then be secured without the fear of passenger injury from tip over. OATS strongly recommends no rider be transported while seated on their scooter.


Seat belts: All OATS drivers and passengers are required to fasten their safety belt before the vehicle is moved. The driver will assure that usable seat belts are available for all passengers and that everyone is properly belted in before the vehicle moves. OATS will not be held responsible for injuries occurring as a result of passengers unfastening or loosening their seat belts to the extent the rider is no longer considered strapped in safe after the driver assured they were fastened.


Child Seats: Conventional seat belts are safe for use by children only if they weigh more than 40 lbs. Children smaller than 40 pounds may ride only if the person scheduling the ride provides an “approved” child seat which can be secured with a conventional seat belt. It is not legal for other riders to hold a child or infant on their lap while the vehicle is in motion.


Portable Assistive Devices: There are a variety of different types of assistive devices used by those with mobility impairments. When the rider has been seated and buckled in, the driver must assure that devices such as canes, walkers, braces, etc. are safely stowed where they will not present a tripping hazard to other riders and tied down so as not to become a projectile in the case of a sudden stop or accident. The driver will return the assistive device to the rider prior to making any attempt to assist the rider in leaving the vehicle.


Lifts/Ramps:  Lift and Ramp equipped vehicles were designed to board passengers who use mobility devices. It is recommended all ambulatory riders board the vehicles by using the steps with assistance from the driver. It is the rider’s responsibility to let the driver know before they board the vehicle if they prefer another option, and allow the driver to assist them in getting into the vehicle safely.


Wheelchairs:   The lift platforms on OATS vehicles are 30 inches wide and 48 inches long.  OATS lifts are factory-set by the manufacturer not to exceed 800 lbs. Any rider using a mobility device with three or more wheels and the combined weight of that rider, accessories and chair is no more than what the lift is set to hold can be eligible to ride.  Mobility devices must be in secured area on the vehicle, and cannot extend into the aisle after being secured.  Aisles must be clear in case of an emergency evacuation.  It is best practice that wheelchair passengers be secured with a torso pad supplied by OATS or by the wheelchair’s own seat belt system as this assures they are secure in their seat for both loading and unloading and during the ride.  This torso pad will be placed on the rider by a trained driver at the time of pick up.

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