WASHINGTON D.C. — Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) and Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26), both members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced legislation Thursday, Sept. 10, to create standards for disabled veterans who rely on mobility products that help improve their quality of life.
Through the Department of Veterans Affairs Automobile Adaptive Equipment program, eligible disabled veterans have access to automotive mobility products, such as wheelchair lifts and reduced-effort steering and braking in vehicles. However, the VA does not require any type of certification or accreditation from vendors to install or sell these products, resulting in cases of poor service and installations, posing serious safety issues for veterans and motorists.
H.R. 3471, the Veterans Mobility Safety Act, requires a vendor of automobile adaptive equipment to be certified by a qualified organization or the manufacturer of the adaptive equipment. In addition, the vendor can also be licensed or certified by the state where the modification services are performed. Ultimately, the legislation ensures disabled veterans receive the best quality, performance and safety by establishing a set of minimum standards for vendors who want to participate in the AAE program.
“America’s disabled veterans have given so much for our country and it’s unacceptable they should have to worry if their chairlift or car is unsafe, possibly endangering themselves or other motorists,” Walorski said. “I’m grateful for Rep. Brownley’s support to create mobility standards and ensure our veterans have the safest mobility equipment possible.”
“Helping disabled veterans get behind the wheel improves not only their mobility, but their independence and quality of life,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “The Veterans Mobility Safety Act will ensure that veterans who use their VA benefits for adaptive equipment get high-quality service they can trust and that will keep them and their families safe on the road. I look forward to working with my colleague Congresswoman Walorski on this crucial legislation.”
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District in Indiana, where she serves as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.