New Jersey is the only state in the US where drivers are not allowed to refuel themselves. Oregon last week lifted a 72-year-old ban and allowed self-service at gas stations, CNN reported.
He explained that the law in Oregon was passed despite opposition from a union representing 800 station employees. Change in Oregon makes New Jersey the last state where drivers are not allowed to refuel themselves. Gas station owners in New Jersey can be fined up to $250. for the first offense if drivers are caught refueling and up to $500. for further such violations.
A state where you cannot refuel yourself
Difficulties hiring workers led to repeated attempts by the New Jersey gas station industry to lift the ban. Every time fuel prices growing, bills are coming in to end the self-service ban, CNN wrote.
The website added that New Jersey’s self-service ban, along with the state’s reputation for lower fuel prices, is part of its culture. “Jersey girls don’t gas up” is a popular bumper sticker. The state’s self-service ban dates back to 1949 and seems unlikely to change anytime soon.
At the time the law was passed, gas stations not only made money from fuel, but also offered a range of services such as oil and battery checks, windshield wipes and vehicle repairs. According to historians, full-service gas station owners felt that cheaper, self-service gas stations — which had begun to spread — would undercut their prices and try to push through a self-service ban.
By 1968, refueling your own car was banned in 23 states. However, gas station owners began to change their stance on self-service in the 1970s and 1980s as they lost control of the car service and repair market. Gas stations had to find new ways to increase profits and believed that self-service could reduce labor costs and increase the amount of fuel sold. They also introduced the sale of food, tobacco, coffee, snacks and other products with higher profit margins, CNN explained.
He also said operators began to pressure states to lift their self-service bans, and as early as 1992, about 80 percent of of all gas stations nationwide were self-service, compared to just 8 percent. two decades earlier.
Main photo source: rocharibeiro / Shutterstock.com