Illinois gas station law would prohibit drivers from pumping their own gas

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An Illinois lawmaker wants to ban drivers from pumping their own gas. She says it's a safety issue, but not all drivers are on-board with the plan.

Milito's on Fullerton Avenue is one of the last remaining full service gas stations in the city.

"I am always busy running around, and especially winter in Chicago it's the best," said Sandra Lopez, driver.

And it could be the law of the land if a proposed bill sponsored by State Rep. Camille Lilly of Oak Park, which calls for banning motorists from pumping their own gas becomes law.

"Pump the gas, check the fluids and the tires and all that. Full service," said Rafael Mendez, Milito gas station attendant.

House Bill 4571 would create the Gas Station Attendant Act, which states "no gas may be pumped at a gas station in Illinois unless it is pumped by a gas station attendant."

New Jersey is the only state with such a law, following fire safety concerns. Oregon loosened restrictions on its mandatory law two years ago.

Lilly could not be reached for comment, but some motorists had plenty to say.

"I think it's great, especially if it's cold out or you have kids in the car, which I usually do," said Jennifer Schoonver, motorist.

"I prefer to pump my own gas," said Colleen Day, motorist. "I don't really want to pay more to have someone do something that I'm fully capable of doing."

Proponents say there's a possibility more jobs could be created, but at a cost. The price at Milito's full service gas pump is about 50 cents higher.

"You do pay a little more for your gas, but that luxury for anybody to come and sit in your car and serve with the full service pumps," said Juan Binto, Milito gas station manager.

But some self-service gas stations say the bill is a bad idea, and would not only drive up the price of gas but also security costs.

"People probably have to tip or they usually do, and the price of gas will go up tremendously," said Alex Garcia of Pride of Chicago BP Amoco.

The bill is currently in the House rules committee. The bill has to survive several more steps before the possibility of being signed into law. If it is signed into law, it would go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.
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