A bill called the Veterans Mobility Safety Act of 2015 ( H.R. 3471) is slated to be voted on tomorrow in the House Veterans Affairs full Committee. The legislation requires that vendors who install adaptive equipment in vehicles purchased or owned by veterans with disabilities to undergo certification. This also applies to vendors who sell or repair this equipment, which includes wheelchair lifts, driving controls and other modifications.
Veterans feel that the bill is a good, common sense measure because improperly installed equipment can result in failures, accidents, even fatalities. They feel that the legislation offers protections for them and is a way of giving back to the disabled vets who have served our country.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doesn’t have minimum requirements for the installation and repair of adaptive equipment, meaning anyone can do it whether they have training or not.
The House VA Health Subcommittee agrees with the premise of H.R. 3471. It unanimously passed the legislation, as is, to the full VA Committee.
Some companies are fighting back by trying to get them exempted from the legislation. They feel that the cost of certification will add to their bottom line and claim that a conflict of interest exists because the Veterans Administration will use only one organization’s standards to create the regulations.
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Proponents of the bill disagree. They say that VA has many organizations to choose standards from. Further, they say that money shouldn’t be a factor in determining safety for veterans.
As the family member of several veterans and as a person with disabilities, I agree with the veterans. Safety is priceless; it makes sense that there should be a certification process for those who install, sell and repair automotive adaptive equipment. It’s the least that we can do to protect our veterans who have served our country with honor and valor.
You can read the full letter about the bill here – http://www.adamobility.com/public/uploaded/media/Misc/Letter_to_VA_Committee_Members.pdf
To those of you who would like to volunteer to reach out to veterans and have them write to their Congressional Representatives please use the attached letter and follow these steps:
1. Using the attached letter have the Vet personalize it with their name and address on their own letterhead.
2. Send it to their Representative via mail or email. All Congressional Representatives can be found here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find
3. IMPORTANT! Then email a copy of the of the letter to the two VA Committee staffers below and bcc my office.