SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — As cold weather arrives, drivers may wish they had someone to pump their gas for them; in Illinois that could be the new way of life as early as 2021.
Legislators in the state last week introduced the Gas Attendant Act that would make it illegal for drivers to pump their own gas in Illinois.
Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Oak Park), who is sponsoring the bill, said it would upgrade the customer’s experience while keeping them safe.
“It’s a shell bill with a concept to address safety at the pump while creating convenience for the citizens here in Illinois,” she said.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, there are more than 5,000 gas station fires in America every year, and the majority involve vehicle fires at the pumps.
New Jersey is the only other state with such a law. Oregon loosened its mandatory law two years ago.
When told about the proposed law, some Illinois drivers were concerned with the cost.
“They’re going to have to pay more for the employees and charge more for gas to pay them,” said resident Rick Smith of Robinson. “And we pay more for gas here than anywhere. We have Marathon refinery here that we have to support.”
For others, the bill reminded them of simpler times.
“When I was younger, I worked in a filling station,” recalled another Robinson resident. “It was a lot more to it. But today people is too rude. They don’t have time for that. Everything is about money and convenience.”
If the bill is signed into law, it would go into effect in January 2021.