DES MOINES, IA – A bill is going through the Iowa Legislature, making an everyday task easier for the physically handicapped. It would give gas stations an extra incentive to provide help at the pump.
It’s a tedious task that some of us take for granted. The legislation would encourage gas stations with 3 or more employees to install a large call button within the drivers reach from inside the car. After the button is pressed, an employee is required, by state law, to pump the disabled customer’s gas.
“If we truly want to help people to lead productive active lives, be members of the community, then they have to be able to gas up their vehicles as they are going to work or traveling visiting their relatives anything that the rest of us kind of take for granted,” says State Senator Rita Hart.
Woozes in Mason City is one of the few gas stations left that still have people to pump your gas for you. Employees tell us they many disabled and elderly people choose their station because they don’t have to leave their car.
“Yeah, lot of the older customers or just disabled in general love that we come out and pump gas for them and wash their cars so it’s nice because they can stay in their vehicle, we take the credit card or check inside for them and they don’t even have to leave,” says station worker Chris Redfern.
As an incentive, participating stations would receive a $500 tax credit. Some people we spoke with say they would use the call button; while others, like Tony Boeckhold, would rather be self-sufficient even if it takes him an extra 5 minutes to get in and out of his truck.
“There would probably be times that I might use it, but I don’t know, I would feel bad watching someone pump my gas for me,” commented Boeckhold.
This bill is not just for disabled people, but also the increasingly amount of elderly drivers. The senate has approved the measure. It is now in the house, waiting for debate.