A recently proposed bill in the Illinois statehouse would ban drivers from pumping their own gas starting next year.
Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Oak Park) introduced House Bill 4571, also known as the Gas Station Attendant Act, to ensure “no gas may be pumped at a gas station in this State unless it is pumped by a gas station attendant employed at the gas station.”
Lilly has not discussed why she introduced the bill in the first place, but the only other state with a similar law, New Jersey, cites fire safety as the reason their mandatory gas station attendant law is in place, WGN reported.
The New Jersey law, which was enacted in 1949, claims that drivers who leave their engines running or careless smokers could cause a fire hazard if they serve gasoline themselves.
Oregon loosened its gas station attendant law in 2018, allowing people to use the pump in counties with a population of fewer than 40,000 people.
While hiring gas station attendants would create more jobs, the cost would likely be shouldered on to the taxpayers paying a higher gas tax in Illinois.
The bill was most recently referred to the House Rules Committee. Should the bill pass, it would take effect on January 1, 2021.