Having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t drive. There are many ways to adapt your car to your needs.
What are Adapted Vehicles?
Depending on their specific needs, people with disabilities can often drive safely by making modifications or adding adaptive equipment to their vehicles. With the improvement and increase in technology, the number of people using adapted vehicles has also increased.
Are people with disabilities allowed to drive a vehicle in India?
A person with a physical disability can get a driving license in India depending on their physical capacity and what is the equipment needed to assist them. According to the Motor Vehicles Bill in 2019, those with mental health issues, are visually or hearing impaired, or have limited motor skills, may not be eligible. People suffering from loco-motor disabilities are eligible to drive an Invalid Carriage if the licensing authority is satisfied that they are fit to drive one.
Getting a license:
As per current guidelines, a differently-abled person is required to pass both the written and practical tests. They have to get their modified vehicle approved by the concerned RTO (Road Transport Office) to ensure it meets safety and emission requirements. Once approved, the person may apply for a driver’s license and submit a disability certificate along with it. They cannot be denied the opportunity to apply for a permit or license because of age or disability.
But despite having these guidelines in place and the attempt to make the process easier, nearly 80% of disabled drivers do not have a licence because of various difficulties in obtaining one. We can only hope this changes in the near future to give everyone in our society equal opportunities and inclusivity.