Driving offers freedom to those with mobility challenges. Unfortunately, driving itself can have challenges. In the past, pumping gas at some stations has been difficult — if not impossible — for many drivers with disabilities.
One obstacle has been removed, however, with a new federal requirement that gas pumps can no longer have operable parts higher than 54 inches from the ground. For new pumps or those being replaced or updated, the operable parts cannot be higher than 48 inches.
These changes — designed to make it easier for those with disabilities to pump gas for themselves — are the result of revisions in the Americans With Disabilities Act. Key parts of a gas pump will be easy to reach for those in wheelchairs and on scooters and for those with arm-movement limitations. Those parts include the credit card reader, the PIN buttons, the fuel-selection buttons and the assistance-request button.
These changes are in addition to the 1990 ADA rules already in place. Those rules include:
- Providing assistance with fueling upon request. The only exception is when a single employee is on duty inside the store or station.
- Providing a way to signal for help from the pump. This can include a button that signals employees or honking to get their attention.
- Providing signage that help is available and indicating how to signal for assistance.
- Providing assistance at no extra charge beyond self-service price.
Compliance with the new rules is sporadic. New stations implemented these changes when they added pumps. But some older stations are not in compliance. Because of the cost related to making the changes, this may take time, despite hefty fines for noncompliance.
Power Mobility and Lifts understands the challenges faced by those with mobility issues. We’re here to help you with the equipment that’s essential to your lifestyle. Give us a call when you need to take the next step in your mobility.
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