There are many things that able bodied people take for granted everyday; things which disabled people face great difficulty with. For example in the case of driving, it’s something that is accessible to disabled people but it requires a little more planning and preparation for a disabled person to purchase and drive a vehicle.
Here at Brig-Ayd Controls Ltd we are able to provide a variety of vehicle adaptations to enable drivers with numerous different disabilities to life their lives as fully and independently as possible. It’s simple enough for us to install hand controls, steering aids, and wheelchair hoists etc. These adaptations mean that a disabled person is able to drive their vehicle freely with confidence, but what about when it comes to refuelling their vehicle?
Many disabled people have adapted cars, which they rely on as they have limited mobility and they struggle to get in and out of their vehicles unaided. Therefore many disabled drivers are unable to refuel their vehicles on their own. Even if they can get out of the vehicle they may not be able to use the pump properly. If there’s only one assistant on duty at the petrol station it’s usually unlikely that they’ll be able to assist a disabled driver, so many disabled drivers may choose to continue their journey with low fuel which could potentially put them in a dangerous situation.
If there are a few members of staff at the petrol station then they may be able to assist you but how do you get their attention? A new system is being trialled in some fuel stations throughout the UK, and if it is fully rolled out it will be of great benefit to disabled drivers nationwide.
Thanks to a campaign started by Disabled Motoring UK, a company called Contacta has developed a system called Pinpoint. It works via two-way radio, and is activated by a fob in the driver’s vehicle. The fuel station’s receiver picks up the signal from the fob; the assistant then acknowledges the call and sends a signal to let the driver know help is on the way.
The Pinpoint system was trialled in Sainsbury’s petrol stations in Essex and Kent in 2012. Out of 100 disabled drivers that tested the system, 90% of them rated it 8 out of 10 or higher. The Pinpoint system is not very expensive to install but many more petrol stations need to be alerted to its existence. Disabled Motoring UK have devised a letter which can be emailed to your local filling station to ask them to install it, just go to their website to download it, and hopefully the Pinpoint system will become much more widespread in the future.