Bill would ban Illinois drivers from pumping their own gas

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGN) — Illinois drivers would no longer pump their own gas under a bill being considered in the state Legislature.

The proposal would create the Gas Station Attendant Act and mandate that no gas may be pumped at a gas station in Illinois unless a gas station attendant does it, reports WGN.

The bill, sponsored by Lawmaker Camille Lilly (D-Oak Park), had its first reading on Feb. 5 and was then referred to the House Rules Committee. It still has several hurdles to clear in the Legislature. If passed, it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Lilly has not discussed why she proposed the bill, but in New Jersey, the only state with such a law, the reasoning is fire safety, citing drivers who may leave engines running, careless smokers and more static electricity from cell phones.

Oregon loosened its mandatory law two years ago.

While hiring attendants would create more jobs, the cost would likely be passed on to consumers already paying a higher Illinois gas tax.

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.