Why Are There No Self-Serve Gas Stations In New Jersey?
Remember back in the day when you pulled up to a gas station for gas, you didn't leave your vehicle? A gas station attendant, some dressed in the company uniform, would walk up to your window, and ask what you wanted and how much.
And then the attendant would ask if you wanted your oil checked, and would also wash your front and back windshield as well. I remember it well. As a matter of fact, in my early 20s, I was one of those gas station attendants for a long-gone Texaco gas station on Old Front Street, next to the former Howard Johnson's site.
I got pretty good at handling multiple vehicles at a time, including washing their windows. Unless I was asked, I didn't check the oil. It was cool to see where all the motorists were from since we were just off Interstate 81. We had a lot of Canadian customers stop in for service.
Now, it's a rare thing to have a full-service gas station around the country. That is except for New Jersey and Oregon. The first time I attempted to get out of my car to pump gas at a stop in New Jersey, the attendant came running out of the building screaming at me not to touch the gas pump. I didn't know it was illegal to pump your own gas in New Jersey.
And why is that? Well, I checked out that question on the How Stuff Works website. Basically, it comes down to safety, including fire concerns. When the law was laid down, it was also to do with curbing undercutting competitors' prices from an incident that dates back to the late 1940s.
Frankly, I find it a bit insulting that New Jersey doesn't think I'm responsible enough to safely pump my own gas, but it's their state and their law, but then again, letting someone else pump the gas for me, especially on a cold, winter day or a rainy day, isn't such a bad thing after all.
Plus, after all these years of full-service, would it mean a large loss of jobs if self-service was allowed? Just look at the growing number of businesses that now have self-checkout lanes where there used to be a person?
But, I feel for residents from New Jersey who may have never used a self-service gas station. If they ever travel out of state and need to gas up, will they know what to do?
via How Stuff Works
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