Bill could give helping hand to disabled drivers at the pump

8:56 PM, Feb 13, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, FL -- Sandra Sroka has held a driver's license for more than 20 years, but because of her disability, she also knows the difficulty of getting gas alone.

"Before I had to get a friend or a family member to go with me," Sorka told 10 News.

Requiring someone to go with her changed last year when Hillsborough County passed an ordinance mandating some stations to post a sticker at the pump with the station's phone number. Disabled drivers like Sroka can call the number and a station attendant comes out to pump the gas.

"In some instances, it does change someone's life, because it could be an issue of independence."

So far, 11 counties in the state have adopted a similar program to Hillsborough's, including Pasco and Pinellas counties. But now a bill has been introduced to take the program statewide.

Backers of the Hillsborough ordinance note it's not meant to be a hardship on businesses.

"It only requires stations to comply that have at least two people in staff during business hours," explained Hillsborough County spokesperson Marti Ryan.

Instead, Ryan said it's simply designed to lend a helping hand to drivers like Sroka.

"It's been a tremendous help for me," said Sroka.

The Florida House bill is being sponsored by New Tampa Representative Mark Danish.

If approved, the measure would take effect July 1st.

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