We are now the only state in the country where you are prohibited by law from pumping your own gas. Seriously, it's an actual law.


The law reads as if pumping gas could be catastrophic for seniors, disabled drivers, and pregnant women.

From the 1949 law:

d. The higher general liability insurance premium rates charged to self-service stations reflect the fact that customers who leave their vehicles to dispense gasoline or other inflammable liquids face significant inconveniences and dangers, including the risks of crime and fall-related personal injury, which are a special burden to drivers with physical infirmities, such as the handicapped and some senior citizens;

e. Exposure to toxic gasoline fumes represents a health hazard when customers dispense their own gasoline, particularly in the case of pregnant women;

Seems to me that if 49 other states allow drivers to get out of the car, put a card in the pump, and fill their tank, NJ could probably handle the risk.

Pumping gasoline fuel in car.
Natnan Srisuwan

When was the last time you heard of anyone in a neighboring state harming themselves by pumping gas? How many injuries every year happen among the out-of-state drivers or the attendants at Jersey stations? I can't think of any, can you?

It's not about cost, it's not about job creation or protection, it's a simple concept of consumer choice. Let the market drive the action of retailers.

If you want to have self-serve credit card-only pumps, do it. If you want to staff the pump with a full experience for the consumer and charge a premium, do it.

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Jean-christophe Gougeon via Unsplash
Jean-christophe Gougeon via Unsplash

Go back a few decades and the attendant washed your windshield, checked your oil, and helped make sure you were on your way and ready for the road. Today? let's just say you are paying for a lot less than full service at most places.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own.

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