Is the Bajaj RE a suitable mode of transport for a person with a disability?
Because of the upright position, you sit in the Bajaj RE senior citizens that have tried the Bajaj both as a passenger or as a driver all comment how comfortable it is for them. The upright position also makes entering reasonably easy, and the same is true when they exit.
So what about persons with disability (PWD) is the Bajaj RE as good for them as it is for senior citizens? This would depend on their disability, when it comes to PWD there is no one vehicle fits all as it depends on the disability.
Back Problem and Bajaj RE
My first experience with a PWD in my RE was a friend of mine that has a back problem. At first look at the RE, he said he would not be able to get in it because of his back and the fact he is 6 feet 2 inches tall. When his car broke down he contacted me and asked me if I could take him to a garage, he was shocked how easy he found it to get in and out of the RE and how comfortable it was for him. He found it more comfortable than his car.
Because of his back problem, he can not get in and out of tricycles or low cars, but the Bajaj RE was not a problem to him.
Driving After an Operation
In the last few months, I have had two major operations that included a 9-inch cut going the length of my stomach.
The doctor told me after my first operation I could drive if it caused me no pain. I had only been out of the hospital a few days, still had staples in my stomach and a colostomy bag. When we discovered the local drug stores did not stock the size of colostomy bag I needed, so we needed to travel to get them.
So I decided to try my Bajaj RE (Tuk Tuk) to see if I could drive with no pain. I did not hold up a lot of hope as even sitting in an armchair was giving me discomfort.
I sat in the Tuk Tuk and discovered because it sat me so upright it was the first seat I had sat in since I left the hospital that was comfortable for me. So the next step was to try driving around the subdivision, I felt no pain in fact I found it very comfortable. So started using the Tuk Tuk for short journeys. Within a week I was going on longer journeys with no problem at all.
After my second operation, it was much the same and I was driving within 2 days of leaving the hospital.
Compared to a Car
The thing that shocked me happened about 3 weeks after my first operation, I had to make a journey of 50km so decided to get a Grab Car rather than risk driving myself.
Getting into the car caused me discomfort, and the laid back seats meant I was uncomfortable for the whole journey. By the time we got home, I was in pain because of the seating position, despite the fact it was a very nice car with seats that my wife found very comfortable. I wished I had taken my Tuk Tuk it would have been far more comfortable.
It was this that started me thinking about the Bajaj RE as a vehicle for PWD.
PWD Driving the Bajaj RE
While the Bajaj RE is good for passengers with a disability is the same true for a driver? This depends on the disability.
Most of the controls of the Bajaj RE are on the handlebars, accelerator, clutch, gears etc. The only thing that is controlled by the feet is the brake, which is controlled by the right foot. So if the disability is a problem with the left leg the PWD could drive the Bajaj RE without any need for it to be adapted.
If the problem is with the right leg the Bajaj RE would need to be adapted ever moving the brake to the left or changing it to a hand-operated brake. I have been told that both have been done and work fine.
I am also aware of a person that is in a wheelchair that drives a Tuk Tuk, he can get himself from the wheelchair into the Tuk Tuk without much problem.
So if you are a PWD and looking for a vehicle that will not break the bank and needs little or no adapting the Bajaj RE could be ideal for you.
Please check with LTO first as we are not sure on their rules for PWD.