or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Why are you not allowed to pump your own gas in NJ or OR?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why are you not allowed to pump your own gas in NJ or OR?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I knew about this law in NJ before this weekend (and just learned that it applied to Oregon as well) so on a roadtrip to NYC I stopped for gas in NJ just for the novelty of having my gas pumped for me.

But anyway... what is the real reason for this law? A couple of reasons I've read:

1. It's for the welfare of senior citizen/disabled drivers, who can't pump gas as easily as average folk.

2. Some stupid person was smoking at the pump, caught fire, and sued the station/state or something. So this law is to prevent that.

3. Well, now if you go back to having self-serve pumps in these states, a lot of gas pumpers will be out of jobs, so it's for the economy.

Anyone out there have any thoughts? This is purely for my own curiosity.
post #2 of 32
The NJ law is an archaic one from back when gasoline and the pumps were a lot more dangerous. The law simply hasn't been repealed or revised. For all I know, the gas "jerks" (like soda jerks I guess) have a strong union. I dunno. No, you don't tip them here.

I think the oil companies are gearing up for a big push to change this. They are of course installing the same pumps as self-serve stations have, plus they're buildig those big quickie-mart style stops despite the low foot traffic. While other states' gas stations have those big convenience stores and make a ton of money on them (especially when they make you pay inside despite those newfangled pumps), in NJ, there's little reason to leave your car, let alone get something to munch on. I would think these places would want to change that, and the gas jerks can still have their minimum wage jobs wihout as much brain damage.
post #3 of 32
Quote:
I think the oil companies are gearing up for a big push to change this.

by BuonRotto

How are they going to get that by the teamsters??? This Jersey afterall, home of one strongest Union cultures in the US.
"Beware the Jabberwock , my son! The jaws that bite, the claw that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the the frumious Bandersnatch!"

from Jabberwocky, excerpt from Alice through the looking...
Reply
"Beware the Jabberwock , my son! The jaws that bite, the claw that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the the frumious Bandersnatch!"

from Jabberwocky, excerpt from Alice through the looking...
Reply
post #4 of 32
As BuonRotto stated it the only reason for such a law is corporatism.

There isn't any logical argument for this.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
There isn't any logical argument for this.

by Powerdoc

Well, sure. But many things don't make sense.

I personally was uncomfortable the one time I was in Jersey and found that I could not pump my own gas. I gave the guy a $3 tip.
"Beware the Jabberwock , my son! The jaws that bite, the claw that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the the frumious Bandersnatch!"

from Jabberwocky, excerpt from Alice through the looking...
Reply
"Beware the Jabberwock , my son! The jaws that bite, the claw that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the the frumious Bandersnatch!"

from Jabberwocky, excerpt from Alice through the looking...
Reply
post #6 of 32
I remember seeing an episode of "Candid Camera" a couple years ago where this was a subject of the prank. Drivers would come into the station expecting to have their gas pumped, and the attendant would say that they could save 5 cents per gallon or something if they pump their own at a special pump around back. A lot of drivers said something to the effect of, "I don't know how to pump my own gas," or "Isn't that illegal in this state?" To the latter, the attendant would encourage them that he wouldn't say anything and it's secluded back there by the rogue pump. I'm not doing a good job at capturing the humor of it, but it was interesting to watch. Darn near NOBODY under 30 years old knew how to pump their own gas. They couldn't do it if they had to! Hm.

If I went to one of those states, I'd probably forget about it and start getting out of the car to grab the nozzle. I can just see the attendant running up going "Wait! What are you doing? You can't do that?" What WOULD law enforcement do anyway? Arrest you? Fine the station? \
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
Reply
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
Reply
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
As BuonRotto stated it the only reason for such a law is corporatism.

There isn't any logical argument for this.

Actually, the reason why the laws exist is logical. There is an issue with ozone/gasoline emissions when you pump your gas incorrectly. The full-service only rules stem from the realization that most people who drive cars dont pump the gas correctly.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by billybobsky
Actually, the reason why the laws exist is logical. There is an issue with ozone/gasoline emissions when you pump your gas incorrectly. The full-service only rules stem from the realization that most people who drive cars dont pump the gas correctly.

Sorry , but i don't buy your argument, i practice self service pomping since more than a decade, have watched others drivers doing it, and i never seen something idiotic or wrong.
If you want to respect the ozone/gasoline emissions then the law should oblige to have the special devices that pump the gaz emitted by the pumping device. I should add, that for the health of the employers, this device should be mandatory. Gazoline contain benzene, and benzene is a risk factor of cancer. If you pump your self your own gazoline, you will breath very few of it in your life, if you are a professional you will breath 10 000 time more.
So your law, has for results to increase the risk of cancer of people working in such stations.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
I would also think that if gasoline/ozone emissions from incorrectly pumped gas were such a concern, a lot more states would require full-service gas stations.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
Sorry , but i don't buy your argument, i practice self service pomping since more than a decade, have watched others drivers doing it, and i never seen something idiotic or wrong.
If you want to respect the ozone/gasoline emissions then the law should oblige to have the special devices that pump the gaz emitted by the pumping device. I should add, that for the health of the employers, this device should be mandatory. Gazoline contain benzene, and benzene is a risk factor of cancer. If you pump your self your own gazoline, you will breath very few of it in your life, if you are a professional you will breath 10 000 time more.
So your law, has for results to increase the risk of cancer of people working in such stations.

I agree with the cancer risk analysis although with current pumps it is much minimalized (more dangerous than benzene is the napthalene that is used as an antiknock agent, benzene evaporates pretty quickly at room temperature, napthalene is a solid), but in areas where ozone polution is or was a problem these laws exist for a reason. My grandfather was a mechanic and the reasons I cited are why the laws exist or so I am told. I unfortunately have seen idiots pumping gas, smoking, car running, filling secondary vessels that are not grounded....
post #11 of 32
"Darn near NOBODY under 30 years old knew how to pump their own gas. They couldn't do it if they had to!"

Riiiight. Must be a serious problem for them when they visit the other 48 states.
post #12 of 32
A little off topic but what do you think all these "pro" gas pumpers would have done in the DC snipper situation. Quit? Demand hazard pay? Run away?
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
"pro" gas pumpers

And, do they have to have some sort of gas-pumping degree?
cygnuhchur
spotbug is dead. Long live spotcatbug!
Reply
cygnuhchur
spotbug is dead. Long live spotcatbug!
Reply
post #14 of 32
lol,

"Yes ma'am, I have a Masters Degree in pumping"
post #15 of 32


That's the funniest thing I've heard all day.
post #16 of 32
Don't ask me how big oil plans to get past the teamsters, except that it is big oil we're talking about. Don't forget that the oil companies have huge storage/distribution centers and a ton of corporate offices and land in the north of the state. I imagine the money going through those places is a hefty bargaining chip to carry around.

My humorous anecdote involves me drving up to a pump in upstate NY a couple of years ago on my way home to NJ. I paid at the pump (love that), and clumsily managed to start filling my tank when a couple tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to show them how to pump their own gas. Sheepishly, they explained to me that they were from NJ and haven't ever pumped their own gas. I told them they were asking the wrong guy and pointed at my license plate. But I managed to get them and myself outof there without blowing anything up.
post #17 of 32
I lived in NJ for ten years, and can assure you that it is not because the state is afraid that its citizens will pump gas incorrectly.

Years ago, a disabled person sued the gas station and the state because he/she could not pump the gas and full service was not always available. This is what happened. In NJ, people sue for EVERYTHING. It is one of the most litigious cultures in the US. As for OR, I do not know why you cannot pump your own gas there.

As for a change to the law in NJ... I have heard rumors for years on end that they (as in they, I mean that mysterious "they" that has the power to do so) have been considering changing the law to allow self serve. Don't count on it happened any time too soon.
GO HOKIES!!
Reply
GO HOKIES!!
Reply
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by billybobsky
Actually, the reason why the laws exist is logical. There is an issue with ozone/gasoline emissions when you pump your gas incorrectly. The full-service only rules stem from the realization that most people who drive cars dont pump the gas correctly.

This probaly isn't the reason for the laws but it should be. People don't realize that when you top off after the pump shuts off automatically, you are compromising the emissions systems built into the pumps. I'll bet a significant number of drivers routinely top off when they pump their own gas.
"Countless mothers will light candles and celebrate the tyrant's capture - mothers in all the cities of Iraq, in all the villages of Iran, in all the streets and quarters of Kuwait, everywhere the...
Reply
"Countless mothers will light candles and celebrate the tyrant's capture - mothers in all the cities of Iraq, in all the villages of Iran, in all the streets and quarters of Kuwait, everywhere the...
Reply
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by mrmister
"Darn near NOBODY under 30 years old knew how to pump their own gas. They couldn't do it if they had to!"

Riiiight. Must be a serious problem for them when they visit the other 48 states.

I refer to BuonRotto's post above and the fact that I actually watched the program to prove that there ARE people in this country that do not know how to pump their own gasoline. And really, how many times do most people ever LEAVE their own state? I live 15 miles from the Kansas State Line and I only go over there about once every few months.
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
Reply
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
Reply
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by zaphod_beeblebrox
This probaly isn't the reason for the laws but it should be. People don't realize that when you top off after the pump shuts off automatically, you are compromising the emissions systems built into the pumps. I'll bet a significant number of drivers routinely top off when they pump their own gas.

Problem is, the gas attendants top off your tank too, even when there are stickers all over the pumps saying not to, even if you're using a card anyway. Some stations (like the Exxon on the road to my parents' place) have the attendants ask if you're using a card or cash before they pump, then top off the tank anyway. Honestly, does anyone lose sleep if they charge an odd amount to your card? Sorry, pet peeve, this is.
post #21 of 32
How could someone not know intuitively how to pump gaz? There are what, 3 steps? And it's usually written on some stickers.

In Canada we have both, self-service and with service. You save about 1 cent/liter (sorry I know nothing at all about thos damn imperial units) if you choose self-service. The service is useful when it's raining or it's -30C outside (sorry again, I don't get fahraneits or whatever the spelling is).

And gaz pumpers are in a union? Now that's funny Around here it's the kind of job students have in the summer, you don't do it for more than a few years.
post #22 of 32
You would be surprised. People who lose their gas caps because they rolled off the car's trunk. People who can't figure out that you have to lift the hook for the pump to start pumping. People who can't figure out how to lock the handle, they just stand there holding it so it will run. People who can't read the instructions to either pay at the pump or pay inside. None of these things are hard to learn or figure out, but when you've never done it, fear and shame of doing something wrong is also a great deterrent.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by BuonRotto
None of these things are hard to learn or figure out, but when you've never done it, fear and shame of doing something wrong is also a great deterrent.

There's a first time for everything right? If they can't understand after a try or 2, well they shoudn't be driving...
post #24 of 32
Take a chill, is it really a big deal?
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by BuonRotto
Take a chill, is it really a big deal?

Absolutely not! I'm not taking this seriously, but I've always had trouble understanding how some people can be slow in their head. But hey, that's the world we live in
post #26 of 32
Don't you people have a choice? Almost every station here you can have it pumped for you or pump your own (with about a 3ยข/gallon savings). And what is this about tipping?? I've never seen anyone tip a gas station attendent. $3.. thats crazy.

I find it hard to believe that these laws are to prevent toping off or ozone leaking or whatever. Most station attendants do exactly what anyone else would do. Everyone of them will top off. Another thing I noticed is that the locks that allow you to walk away from the pump are disappearing. They are taking them out of more and more self-serve pumps at stations, forcing you to hold the handle the whole time.

I prefer to pump my own gas as its usually cheaper and quicker, but I hardly find full serve a novelty.
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." -- Albert Einstein
Reply
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." -- Albert Einstein
Reply
post #27 of 32
hmmm, In NY, I have never ever seen a full service gas station. Always have to get out of the car and do it yourself. And you cant even lock the damn pumps, you have to stand there for a few minutes. i wanna drive somewhere and have someone else fill the car up for me
post #28 of 32
I think they remove the locks in places where gas and go is common.
post #29 of 32
I feel bad that I didn't see this thread earlier. I was recently involved in an argument over the stupidity of this law in Oregon. Many of my in-laws live in Oregon and are quite liberal. Being libertarian, I am quite opposed to such silly laws. I mean what next, people cutting our food and shoving it in our mouths for us to eat? These laws are designed to give dead-beats and "special" people jobs. I don't want Corky or some shifty-eye nearly homeless junkie pumping my gas or touching my ride. I mean its cool that Oregon has no sales tax, but this is dumb. Geez, what a state.
post #30 of 32
Being formerly from the same area as xionja, I've discovered the same thing about the gas pumps often times not having locks. For the first couple of times, I thought I was just too dumb to figure them out.

Thing is, although the laws are antiquated, we also live in an extremely litigious society. While the libertarian approach would seem to make sense, I would bet that by now some people in OR and NJ would jump on the chance to sue the gas stations if so much as a drop of gas stained their slacks.
post #31 of 32
Your point is well made BuonRotto. I bow my head in shame for the depths humanity has sunk.
post #32 of 32
I grew up in NJ and recently moved to Indiana. I personally hate having to pump my gas. Right now the cost of gas is cheaper in my home state than where I am so it's not cheaper to have self service. So if someone wants to earn minimum wage to pump my gas for me and allow me to stay in the comfort of my car (especially during foul weather) and it doesn't cost me more, I'm all for it. I know that other states had similar laws years and years ago but got rid of them. I just know with our current economy all those extra jobs could really help. I know this post is almost a decade old but I wanted to share a Jersey perspective. Call it lazy or whatever you like but not having to pump gas is viewed as a perk. Right now with my husband deployed I go out of my way to the only full service gas station in my county to have them pump it for me. It costs five cents more a gallon but if I pay cash there is a five cents a gallon discount which makes it even. I hate pumping my own gas, just because I know how doesn't mean I should do it. I know how to change a tire but I'm still going to call triple A to do it for me.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Why are you not allowed to pump your own gas in NJ or OR?