Crime Prevention Corner Do homework when scheduling transportation for the elderly, disabled

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        Many elderly and disabled persons may need transportation services to and from a variety of destinations, not the least of which are medical appointments. The relationship to crime prevention in choosing transportation services rests mainly with criminal background checks of a transportation service provider’s drivers.
        A person requiring transportation services or a member of his or her family should very carefully check the credentials of the provider and its drivers. Safety issues are of the utmost importance when investigating transportation providers, and the criminal conviction history of the drivers should be verified.
        While state law may not cover all types of transportation services, it does regulate private providers of ambulette services. An ambulette service provides transportation for people in wheelchairs and others with mobility devices and equipment.
        Ambulettes have special equipment, including lift mechanisms and restraint devices to hold a wheelchair safely in place while the vehicle is in motion.
        In Ohio, a properly credentialed ambulette driver cannot be hired if a background check reveals any one of a multitude of offenses, including theft. These background checks are mandated by state law for ambulette drivers.         While state agencies may not oversee transportation services outside the realm of ambulette services, it does not mean you cannot or should not check them out before you decide to use them.
        One question that can be asked pertains to licensure. Ask the agency or company if they have obtained any government licenses, and what those licenses are. If they tell you they are licensed, check to see if those licenses require criminal background checks of its drivers.
        Some transportation service providers may be required to be licensed by local governments. For example, some taxi companies based in Toledo are licensed by the city. Part of that city’s licensing requirements include a provision for criminal background checks.
        Before deciding on a transportation service provider, take into account these licensing requirements.
        A person investigating transportation services should not only ask the company or agency about background checks of its drivers, the person should independently verify the information they are given.
        As is the case with any prudent person, you would not get into just any vehicle with a stranger. The same applies to an elderly or disabled person who needs transportation to and from a medical appointment.
        This article is a public service from the Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association