COLUMBUS – State Reps. Sean Patrick Brennan (D-Parma) and Steve Demetriou (R-Bainbridge Twp) are pleased to report that House Bill (HB) 195, which would create an adaptive mobility vehicle dealer license, has been unanimously passed by the Ohio House Commerce and Labor Committee.
“All too often, the public has the impression that everything in Columbus is about partisan bickering. As new members of the Ohio General Assembly, Representative Demetriou and I became fast friends and are excited that our bill which will assist the disabled community and promote economic growth in Ohio is on the move,” said Rep. Brennan.
“I appreciated working with Representative Brennan and a number of stakeholders from across the business community to ensure that disabled Ohioans’ access to vehicles that fit their needs won’t be disrupted,” said Rep. Demetriou.
Currently, Ohio law is silent on licensing dealers who purchase vehicles and retrofit them to serve the needs of the disabled community. That is, any dealer who purchases a new vehicle from a licensed new car dealer and retrofits it to include an electronic or mechanical lift that enables someone to enter a vehicle via wheelchair or scooter, a mechanical wheelchair ramp, a system that secures a wheelchair or scooter, among other adaptations, does not fit into the new or used vehicle dealer licensing categories.
The bipartisan bill, which has received support from adaptive mobility dealers, the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, will benefit Ohioans in multiple ways. First, clarifying current licensure law for adaptive mobility dealers will increase the credibility of these businesses in the eyes of customers. Further, this legislation will ensure that consumers are provided with all of the warranties and other consumer protections they are entitled to when purchasing an adapted mobility vehicle. As a result, the viability of adaptive mobility dealerships will improve and more players will enter the market, resulting in economic growth and job creation.
Reps. Brennan and Demetriou also say that this legislation supports low mobility Ohioans by providing them with peace of mind that the state of Ohio has given its blessing to a dealer. No longer will they have to wonder if the vehicle they are purchasing is truly safe, knowing that they are protected by the same warranties and protections provided to purchasers of vehicles from new or used licensed dealers. By eliminating this legal gray area, the sponsors are hoping that opportunities for growth can be unlocked in this niche industry.
The bill now awaits a House floor vote.