Not Even a Pandemic can Shake New Jersey’s ban on Self-Service gas
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
Even as the coronavirus epidemic forces state and local governments to relax or suspend some laws in an effort to support public health and safety, there’s one long-standing, non-sensical regulation that remains firmly in place:
New Jersey’s ban on pumping your own gas.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) posted on Twitter that the state has “no plans to turn our gas stations into self-serve at this time.”
“Please DO NOT pump your own gas.”
Under New Jersey’s “Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act and Regulations,” allowing just anyone to pump their own gas is a threat to health, safety, and economic justice.
Failure to allow a trained and certified station attendant to pump fuel can result in a fine “of not less than $50.00 and not more than $250.00 for a first offense and not more than $500.00 for each subsequent offense.”
The ban on self-serve gas dates back to 1949 and has its roots in a gas price war between rival station owners.
One owner offered self-serve gas at a lower price. Rather than try to compete on price and service, the other owners sought to ban self-service through state law.
They won and not even a pandemic can shake the ban’s grip on New Jersey gas stations.
And here’s the kicker: New Jersey drivers appear to like it that way
Image Credit: Coolcaesar at the English language Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)