Question: Which disabled driver controls or fitments are testable items, and what's the difference between a disabled control that is a testable item and an additional control that's not testable?
Answer: Disabled driver controls are very varied and the degree of modification can range from minor additions to major replacements of the original controls. Where a disabled driver’s control or fitment is in addition to and does not adversely affect the normal vehicle equipment, it would not be considered a testable item and only the vehicles original control would be tested.
For example: If a vehicle’s steering wheel has been removed and replaced by a set of handlebars which incorporate the throttle, brake and clutch, (much like a motorcycle) the handlebars will be testable as they replace the steering wheel. However, if the original brake pedal is still in place, the handlebar mounted brake lever would be additional to the original control and therefore not testable. The original brake control would also be used to carry out the brake performance tests and not the disabled driver's control.
Likewise, a spinning knob mounted to a steering wheel is not testable as it is additional to the normal equipment.
Best practice is that any defective additional control or fitment found during the test should be reported to the vehicle presenter.
Send in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock images.