Except as provided in subdivision 4, any vehicle used by an operator to provide transportation service shall be equipped with wheelchair securement devices which are approved by the commissioner of public safety as meeting the specifications of subdivisions 1 and 2. A wheelchair securement device shall prevent any forward, backward, or lateral movement of an occupied wheelchair when the device is engaged and the vehicle is in motion, accelerating or braking, and shall attach to the frame of the wheelchair without damaging it. Wheelchair securement devices installed in any vehicle shall be maintained in working order.
The strength requirements for securing the part of a wheelchair that is forward in the vehicle shall be one-half of those required for the rear. Where the wheelchair securement device and the seat belt are combined in a common system, those parts which provide the combined restraining force shall have a combined strength of both according to the strength requirements of each as adopted by the commissioner of public safety.
A vehicle used to provide transportation service shall carry only as many persons seated in wheelchairs as the number of securement devices approved by the commissioner of public safety as meeting the specifications of subdivisions 1 and 2 with which the vehicle is equipped, and each occupied wheelchair shall be secured by such a securement device before the vehicle is set in motion.
A transit vehicle used to provide transportation services may be equipped with wheelchair securement devices that may be engaged and released by the user or the user's assistant. The commissioner of public safety shall adopt rules as necessary to set standards for the operation, strength, and use of these wheelchair securement devices.