On Monday quickly to therapy after work? To the cinema with friends at the weekend? A short trip to Berlin at the weekend? Questions which are not easy to answer for people with restrictions. At the very least, long term planning is in the foreground for sufferers when it comes to subjects of transport and mobility. Do I need a driver service or can a member of the family drive me…
Questions which make it clear that every person’s own mobility means independence, freedom and quality of life…
Under Article 3, paragraph 3, sentence 2, of Basic Law stating that “No person should suffer discrimination because of his disability,” it is forbidden to discriminate against the handicapped according to German constitutional law. In principle the following applies: that every disabled person must be given the opportunity to prove that he can participate safely in road traffic in a car. “Every road user on the public roads is charged with driving a vehicle safely!”(Section 2 FeV).
But can I drive a car myself again despite my disabilities? In order to answer this question there is a clear path to take. To begin with there is a traffic medical certification (medical certification under Section 11 FeV). In this a doctor, with additional medical traffic training, tests the cognitive abilities necessary for safe driving on the public roads, for example, reaction competence. Should there be no objection then the next step follows, finding a suitable driving school.
Attention should be paid that the driving school is equipped and trained to teach disabled people. Modified driving school vehicles can establish which technical aids are necessary to compensate the restrictions due to different syndromes, when handling a car. It is tested to see which aids must be fitted into the car, acceleration, brakes and steering, as well as other vehicle functions (indicator, light etc.), ensuring safe handling. The result is recorded in a technical certification which is later used as the basis for a special vehicle conversion at the conversion firm.
After that, driving training or the preparation for the driving test begins. When the learner and the driving instructor are ready there is a test with an MOT examiner. In the practical driving test, the candidate must show that he can steer on the public roads, with his specific conversions, with absolute safety. When the test has been successfully passed, then a driving licence is handed over and personalised with the special code numbers from the technical certification.
The next step is the choice of a suitable vehicle conversion firm and a basic vehicle. The conversion firm should have extensive experience and should keep to the guidelines set by the technical certification. Together with the conversion specialist, the best solution for independent mobility will be established. Important points, such as “How can I get myself out of my wheelchair?” or “Do I drive directly from the electric wheelchair?” can be integrated into the decision of the vehicle. At the end of the consultation an offer should be drawn up which closely fits the specific illness.
Depending on the case, applications can be made to various funding agencies to take over the conversion costs. The condition for financial support, when buying a vehicle suitable for a disabled person, is anchored by law in Section 20 SchwbG of the motor vehicle assistance regulations KfzHv. A specialist at the conversion firm can offer assistance as to which funding agencies can be approached when an application is made. It can be the accident insurance for accident victims. For questions about integration in the work market, for young people for example, it can be the Ministry of Employment. For a proven accident at work the trade association will help out.
The funding agencies take over all the conversions necessary if the notification is positive. The following regulation applies for the calculation of the basic vehicle according to Section 5 KfzHv: The buying of a car depends upon income up to a sum reaching the buying price, at the most, however, a sum of 9500€ can be claimed. Justified fitted extras for the handicapped, such as an automatic gearbox will be taken over 100%. The basis for the taking over of the costs is always the medical traffic and technical certification.
Now nothing stands in the way of making the dream of having your own vehicle come true.
Paravan, (corporate seat in Pfronstetten-Aichelau) the world leader for individual, specific handicapped vehicle solutions, has now opened a further centre of competence in the Rehability-Glas-Palast, Schlosserstraße 33 in Lindlar. More information under www.paravan.de