By Andree Withey
Queensland’s transport department is under pressure to review its rules after a woman in an electric wheelchair was thrown from a moving bus on the Darling Downs.
The 72-year-old’s wheelchair skidded across the aisle into the door as the bus negotiated a roundabout in Toowoomba in March.
She landed on her head after the door opened and spent almost two months in hospital.
The incident has prompted calls for compulsory restraints in buses from disability support group Queensland Advocacy.
“All wheelchairs and scooters should be anchored to the floor and wall,” the organisation’s director Michelle O’Flynn said.
“Maxi [taxi] drivers cannot just allow someone to use their wheelchair to get into the back.
“They have to have them secured and so should bus drivers.
“Public transport should be accessible to all but it must be safe.”
Ms O’Flynn said Queensland should follow the United States, where restraints are compulsory for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
She wants the state transport department to review the rules.
But a department spokesman said restraints for mobility devices are not required under federal legislation.
However, bus drivers must consider the needs of all passengers and drive with due care and attention, they said.
Transport and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey is yet to comment.
His office said the matter would be investigated.
Topics: travel-health-and-safety, disabilities, alp, toowoomba-4350
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