FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities (MOPD) supports the signing of Bill HB 4866, which will require gas stations to provide and display at least one ADA compliant gas pump with a direct telephone number to the station that allows a disabled operator of a motor vehicle to request refueling assistance. MOPD Commissioner Karen Tamley attended the bill signing for accessible fuel pumps signed by Governor Pat Quinn on Friday, January 25.
“This bill will greatly increase the accessibility of gas stations for people with disabilities by providing a means for two-way communication, allowing motorists to directly contact the person operating the gas station,” said Commissioner Tamley. “This law will further enhance the independence of Chicagoans with Disabilities. “In the past, a motorist with disabilities was expected to honk his or her vehicle’s horn until the gas station operator came out and provided assistance. However, without any two-way communication, it was impossible to know if the gas station operator heard the horn, heard the horn but couldn’t provide assistance at that moment – or if he was ignoring the driver altogether.”
If the gas or service station does not have at least one ADA compliant motor fuel dispenser, the station must still provide a direct telephone number on at least one fuel pump allowing a disabled motorist to request refueling assistance.
The bill goes into effect June 1, 2013. Violations of this Act will result in station owners to pay an administrative fee of $250.
Mayor Emanuel has worked to make Chicago the most accessible city in the nation. Included among the administration’s key achievements is the establishment of a committee working to amend the City’s accessibility code requirements to ensure that Chicago has the strongest, most productive accessible code in the nation.
To date, the administration has also installed approximately 10,000 ADA complaint curb ramps; is working to increase the accessibility of the City’s technology, particularly web accessibility; established a Veterans Outreach Center to ensure the delivery of comprehensive, quality services to disabled veterans; installed a new accessible ramp to the City Council that will enable people with disabilities to attend Council Meetings and better participate in the City's legislative process; proposed legislation, since enacted by City Council, to increase fines and penalties for vehicles fraudulently displaying disabled placards; participated in numerous enforcement actions with the Secretary of State’s Office to crack down on parking placard abuse; announced the arrival of new purpose-built accessible and green (CNG) taxis to the Chicago market; worked to ensure that the City’s Emergency Plan is ADA compliant and inclusive of people with disabilities; enacted a City-wide policy that requires all emergency-related press conferences to include sign-language interpreters; and distributed 200 accessible smoke detectors in the homes of people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing and held four fire safety trainings for 160 CPS students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.