Advice from our members

Advice from our member, Ian

February 18, 2022 | Southmedia

Charles Dickens was right when he said “The law is an ass”! Ian Langrish confirmed this when he spoke to Newbury police several years ago.

Many of our members will know our Trustee Ian Langrish. He shares some of his wisdom and experience with us. 

‘There is a big firework display in Newbury every November and we went many years ago before I was living in a wheelchair. There’s also a funfair and I couldn’t resist going on the dodgems. I was bashed into from behind and had very uncomfortable whiplash. Coincidentally it was treated by Kim Burnett whose father Ken was a member of the Centre.

The law on car headrests and seat belts was changed many years ago. In the case of seat belts and headrests it referred only to the car’s own fittings and makes no reference to wheelchair passengers who will have to have fitted seatbelts but may not have head protection to avoid whiplash.

I checked with Newbury police and they confirmed this was a surprising oversight by the people who drafted the law in Westminster. As Charles Dickens says in Oliver Twist “The law is an ass”.

I am lucky in that my wheelchair has a headrest built-in. But for many, there won’t be that protection. It is quite inexpensive to get a head support or modification to the wheelchair itself. This will provide extra security for the neck of anyone riding in a wheelchair. It is surprising how seriously injured you can be by the slightest of bumps.’


Thank you Ian for sharing this information. If you have some wisdom that could be useful for our members, please share it with us at 

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