Motorists with disabilities can make their travels easier by remembering The Pump Guide as they prepare for a long Fourth of July weekend, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land advised Michigan residents today.

The Pump Guide is an online directory of gas stations statewide that offer travelers with disabilities full service at self-service prices. The site was created by Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America, a nonprofit organization.

"Before you head out on the road, your first visit should be to The Pump Guide," Land said. "You can map out your trip ahead of time with the assurance that full-service gas stations are ready to serve you along the way." To qualify for refueling assistance, drivers are required to display a state-issued disability license plate or placard.

Michael Harris, executive director of the veterans group, joined Land in promoting The Pump Guide. Harris, who is a paraplegic, came up with The Pump Guide idea during a 2001 business trip.

"I realized I wasn't alone in needing assistance when stopping to refill my tank and that finding a full-service station was often hit or miss," Harris said. "I thought The Pump Guide would make a great way to encourage independence while traveling and remedy a problem for drivers with permanent or temporary physical challenges."

The Pump Guide's online program allows users to:

  • Search for stations by county
  • Identify stations near a specific location or by ZIP code
  • Plan a trip using driving directions with all of the participating stations along their route

About 800 gas stations statewide participate in The Pump Guide program. In addition to locations and hours, the guide also lists those stations that include car washes, ATM machines, accessible restrooms and other amenities. The paralyzed veterans organization gets its information from an annual mailing to gas stations.

Land and Harris' organization first partnered in 2005 when they unveiled The Pump Guide bookmark campaign. The ongoing campaign provides residents who receive a disability license plate or placard with a bookmark printed with the guide's online address.