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Disabled road users [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for disabled road users.

Perhaps you, or someone you know, are one of the estimated 14 to 17 % people aged over 15 in the EU who suffer from a disability? You are not alone, as these numbers are expected to rise, mainly due to the aging population. By 2020, approximately 120 million Europeans will have a disability. The EU is working to remove barriers preventing your equal participation in life activities, particularly as regards your access to transport.

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Person with disability sign on a car

© Christophe Fouquin / Fotolia

People who are entitled to a disability parking card can use it in all EU countries, because the cards are issued according to a standardised EU model and recognised by all Member States.

On long-distance journeys (over 250 km) by bus and coach, disabled Europeans are entitled to assistance at designated terminals, and help with getting on and off the bus. The carrier must also allow you to be accompanied by a person of your choice free of charge, if this solves security or safety concerns that would otherwise prevent you from travelling. The EU also introduced common rules on adapting and approving vehicles used to transport persons with disabilities, and requires EU countries to put national rules in place on transporting people with reduced mobility. EU rules should ease access for disabled passengers by standardising solutions, such as priority seats, limits on step height, handhold and ramp availability, and clear marking. In addition, the European Accessibility Act, which will set EU-level requirements to increase supply of key services at more competitive prices for disabled users, includes transport.

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