Refueling Assistance Act back in Congress

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woman's hand holding gas pump nozzle in gas tank of car

Refueling Assistance Act in Congress

A bill in Congress aims to make it easier for people with disabilities to pump gas at gas stations.

While the Americans with Disabilities Act requires gas stations to accommodate people with disabilities, advocates have long argued the law fails to relieve them from long, unnecessary waits at gas stations.

Under the Refueling Assistance Act, the Department of Transportation would be required to conduct a new study of various forms of motor vehicle refueling assistance and “promulgate regulations to ensure individuals with disabilities have access to safe, timely, convenient, and consistent refueling assistance.”

Specifically, the regulations would require gas stations to install a bell or some other sort of alert system to alert attendants that they need assistance at the pump, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), the bill’s sponsor, told Valley News Live.

Rep. Bustos first introduced the bill in 2014, after being approached by disability advocates in her congressional district. She introduced the latest version of the bill in January, with co-sponsors Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

“For most, putting gas in your car is a quick pit stop, but for some assistance is needed and getting the attention of an attendant can be challenging,” Rep. Loebsack said in a June 27 news release. “This legislation will direct the Secretary of Transportation to ensure individuals with a disability have access to reliable refueling assistance.

“This commonsense bill will help thousands of people improve their everyday lives.”

A video from Valley News Live can be seen here.