A new product has been developed to give children and adults with a range of disabilities added protection during a crash, even if they are out of position in their seat.
‘Bestvest’ has been developed by Safe Travel Ltd and is designed to ensure that the three point seatbelt is used in the safest way. It is certified by the Transport Research Laboratory and endorsed by the transport safety group BUSK UK, and the DfT has been kept abreast of its development.
Bestvest is suitable for use by able bodied and disabled children, wheelchair users, the elderly, and people with challenging behaviour. It is available for use in cars, taxis, minibuses, coaches and all other modes of road transport where a three point safety belt is provided. It can also be used in conjunction with booster seats.
It works by locating the diagonal section of the safety belt across the centre of the shoulder and chest, using two quick release clasps. Safe Travel says that an emergency evacuation of 60 school children from a coach – conducted by BUSK – showed that when equipped with Bestvest the children completed the test quicker than they did without it.
Jim Halliday, director of Safe Travel Ltd, says: “Bestvest was born out of my safety fears for my disabled daughter when we transported her in the family car, and also when she was required to travel in her wheelchair on school transport.
“I am extremely pleased that it has attracted huge interest from local authorities, transport companies and road safety professionals who have a responsibility for transporting others safely. I am very proud to have been involved in the development of something that can potentially save lives and reduce injuries.”