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Mobility for all: kartSTART introduces a new hand-controlled, accessible go-kart

Nov 28, 2018

Hands-controlled accessibility kart at kartSTART

It’s never too early to learn the basics of driving safely. Which is why we believe that every child should have the opportunity to experience kartSTART, a program that teaches youth about the fundamentals of driving, by getting them in the driver’s seat of a vehicle that’s just their size (a go-kart).

As part of our commitment to Mobility for All, we approached Russ Bond, a semi-retired race car driver and kartSTART founder, about creating a new kart for kids with physical disabilities affecting their lower limbs. Bond and his team were immediately on board, working closely with Jonak Motorsport (one of Canada’s leading racecar manufacturers) to design, develop and test the program’s first hand-operated go-kart.

“We now have the ability to create a more inclusive environment, where mobility is no longer a barrier for children with physical disabilities affecting the lower limbs.” – Russ Bond

Participant at kartSTART 2018

Though the newly adapted kart has conventional foot pedals, it also has hand-controls built into the steering wheel to operate the throttle and brakes, which means that drivers can accelerate and brake using only their hands. The new accessible go-kart is an exciting innovation, as it gives even more youth the chance to participate in kartSTART and establish a foundation for safe driving.

Kids using the accessible go-kart will receive a similar experience to other participants. Whether they’re in the classroom or zooming around the track in a kart that looks like the other karts in the fleet, the new go-kart is a demonstration of our commitment to Mobility for All. Working with kartSTART to develop this accessible kart was an important step for us, as we dedicate ourselves to making sure every individual has the freedom to move.

Learn more about the kart below:

kartSTART Accessibility Kart Infographic

Learn more about our mission to make movement better for everyone here.

About kartSTART

kartSTART travels to select cities across Canada every summer, teaching kids about how vehicles work and how to maintain control of a motorized vehicle, to prepare them for the day when they’ll sit behind the wheel of a car.

Participating families also get the chance to test out the advanced safety technologies used in Toyota vehicles.

Learn more about kartSTART here.