CONGRESS: protect passengers with disabilities in an emergency evacuation
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Addressed to members Congress: Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, Tammy Baldwin, Joe Donnelly, Richard Blumenthal, Tammy Duckworth, Nancy Pelosi, Jim Langevin, and Brian Mast
Protect passengers with disabilities in an emergency evacuation!
Those of us involved with the disability community have concerns about an unmet safety need for travelers who use wheelchairs and are unable to walk on or off a mode of transportation, cruise ship, or hotel. When these passengers travel, their lives are in peril during an emergency evacuation until they can be swiftly moved to an exit.
We want legislative action taken to mandate that the Department of Transportation require all airlines, trains, buses, cruise ships, and hotels provide individuals with disabilities with a flame-retardant, water-resistant, personal assistive device and require crew members to be trained in its use. This will ensure safe and swift emergency egress for all passengers. Currently ADAPTS is the only such device available for use on an airplane.
In addition, we request: 1) feasibility studies to ensure passengers with disabilities are included in the current airworthiness tests whereby passengers are evacuated within 90 seconds with half the emergency exits available, 2) studies to determine where the safest seating options are for the traveler with disabilities on an airplane which have not been updated since 1977 and 3) a review current airworthiness tests which have not been updated since 1988 despite the increase in numbers of people with disabilities who are traveling today, increased seating capacity, and the shrinking distance between rows.
Our goal is to get 100,000 signatures in 60 days to bring legislative attention to this unmet travel safety need.
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