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Are self-service gas stations required to offer assistance to people with disabilities?

Merton Vance

Generally, self-service gas stations are required to offer assistance to people with disabilities who ask for help at the pump, said Vicki Smith, executive director of Disability Rights NC, an advocacy group for people with disabilities.

Many stations display signs with a handicapped symbol indicating that attendants will provide assistance on request. Some have buttons at a drive-through booth that people can push for assistance.

In other places, drivers can just pull up and beep the horn, she said.

In some situations, service may be limited, she said. For example, there are some gas stations that are reluctant to have an attendant leave a booth late at night in a high-crime area.

But stations are required to provide a reasonable effort to assist people who cannot pump gas themselves.

“If someone thinks they’ve been discriminated against, they can call us and we’ll investigate,” she said.

User-contributed question by:
James C. Robinson
James C. Robinson

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