The Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver, Colorado, has purchased and equipped all of its coach-on-chassis para-transit vehicles with the Access-AriZe lift restraint belts. They have gone as far as to put a policy in place that states, "If the vehicles are not equipped with the Access-AriZe belts, that vehicle is out of service."
Following are some testimonials from some drivers, their passengers, and Transit professionals:
From Mike at the Transfor Corporation:
"The Access-AriZe Lift Restraint Belt is without a doubt a top contender in products we most often emphasize and recommend to our customers. In my opinion, it is the single most effective product available in addressing the operational liability associated with commercial passenger lift operations. Our customer feedback for the Access-AriZe Lift Safety Belt has been expressed at 100% satisfaction."
From Mark at Advanced Wheels:
"As a dealer, we take a lot of pride in providing products that are reliable and user-friendly to our clients. Access-AriZe lift belts are a perfect example of such a product. The belts are industry-leading, easy to install and made from stronger materials than others on the market, and most importantly user- friendly."
From a Safety Manager of a mid-sized transit agency:
"I am the Safety Manager for Via Mobility Services, a well-known nonprofit organization in Boulder, Colorado. While speaking at a para-transit drivers’ meeting, a driver informed me that the retractable safety belt that was on our bus' wheelchair lifts posed serious concerns for passenger safety.
The issue was that the retractable safety belt did not lock into place after the belt was buckled. He said the belts are very loose. I tested the belt by boarding the lift and fastening the belt. I leaned against the belt and began to walk toward the end of the lift. Upon reaching the very edge of the lift, the retractor finally ran out of the belt, and I came to a stop.
It worried me to think that a standee could get that close to the edge of the lift. Since Via is in the business of providing the safest transportation possible to our passengers, I determined the belt to be unsafe for our purposes. What we needed was a belt that was locked in place and would not only keep passengers using wheelchairs and scooters on the lift but would also help prevent standee passengers from falling off the lift.
I knew of the Access-AriZe belts, as they had already been installed on some of our vehicles. And I know of several incidents in which these belts were proven to have helped prevent serious injury. The Access-AriZe safety belts serve a dual purpose of providing safety for the passengers who use mobility devices, as well as safety for standees using the lift. My confidence in the belt led me to purchase the belt for every vehicle in that division.
I highly recommend the Access-AriZe Safety Belts to any transportation company, no matter how small or large the company.
Think Safety 1st."
Corky Ransom says:
"The belts are fabulous for holding wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, and scooters from moving on the lift platform. The straps are also very effective with standees giving them a more secure feeling and holding them from leaning or from falling backward on the lift."
And a quote from one of Corky's passengers. "The strap makes me feel more secure and safe because it gives support to my back and legs."
Maggie Burrall told us:
"I began using it immediately and definitely felt that it generally enhanced our safety procedures." One of Maggie's passengers told her: "I like it! I like it! I can feel it supporting me as I ride up on the lift."
The following excerpts are from a taped interview with Mrs. Watson, wife of Harvey Watson, an Access-a-Ride passenger who uses an electric wheelchair, regarding the incident involving the safety strap that occurred when driver Maggie Burrall was de-boarding Mr. Watson. "He almost came off. Had it not been for the strap, he would've come off. The strap was really there for him."
Maggie also said that she believed "Mr. Watson was saved from a very serious injury that day by the belt."
Carl Bishoff said:
"The new safety straps that have been installed on our buses, on the lift, and are very definitely a great safety device. They are sturdy and very easy to use with passengers.
"VERY, VERY IMPRESSIVE. This is an ingenious solution to what can be, potentially, a tragic accident. I trust that you do not mind if I send the link and your contact info to my other customers in your industry and our other consultants for distribution."
-Bert Mayo: Vice President, Risk Control Services, Lockton Companies
"Like all great inventions, simple and practical and what a great addition to the safety and well-being of the passengers. The site, like the product, is well designed - really does the job demonstrating it's value."
-Len Cahill: Training Coordinator, Community Transportation Association www.ctaa.org
"Thanks to the two of you, people in Colorado will travel much more safely."
-Angie Ham: C.A.S.T.A www.coloradotransit.com
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) endorses our product and intends to have the belt added to their specifications for light-duty bodies on chassis vehicles by early 2011.
"LIFT RESTRAINT BELTS - Manufacturers such as Braun and Ricon offer a wide selection of commercial lifts designed for use in a variety of settings. Some of these lifts have a restraint belt (such as the Ricon S-Series at left) while others (such as the Braun Millennium) do not. Those that don't can be retrofitted using the Access-AriZe Belt, a new product developed to improve safety on such lifts."
“Thank you very much for your email and the information it contained in reference to the innovative approach in regard to passenger lift safety. You are certainly correct that the problem of a passenger's weight shifting forward while seated in a wheelchair on a lift has the potential to cause injury due to the passenger and wheelchair falling forward off the lift. We appreciate hearing about your creative approach to transit passenger safety.”
-FTA's Bus Program Team
“I have reviewed your material and the video. The belt appears to be a very simple, cost-effective tool to increase the safety of those passengers using the lifts. I would like to see the transit industry begin using these on a routine basis.”
-Kary Kiner: Oklahoma State University Center for Local Government Technology
“National RTAP is reviewing your video and is interested in CDOT's implementation of your product in its upcoming regulations. We will be sure to stay up to date on CDOT's requirements, especially now that we know that your product is being considered for standardization.”
-Andrew Coyle: National RTAP