PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — And, then there was only one. The new year means New Jersey is the only remaining state in which motorists need to sit tight, while attendants fill’er up at gas stations.
For decades, folks in New Jersey and Oregon were banned by state law from pumping their own fuel at gas stations. This week, a new law allows Oregonians in rural counties to grab the nozzle, and squeeze. At the convergence of Routes 38 and 70 in Pennsauken, motorists at the Wawa mused on the subject of mandating attendants pump gas for drivers.:
“Sometimes it’s very, very cold. I don’t like getting out.”
“I wouldn’t say quirky. Maybe it’s nostalgic, to an extent.'”
“New Jersey has always been kind of different. But I think having the ability to pump your own gas should be optional.”
When this longtime New Jersey resident went down to Atlanta to visit family, she waited next to the pump for an attendant. No one showed up.
“I sat in the car. And they said, we don’t pump gas here, you have to do it on your own. I said, ‘okay.'”
Or this woman, who learned to drive in California, thinks New Jersey should give motorists the option to pull into a full-serve or self-serve bay.
“They did have full-serve and self-serve. When I came back to New Jersey, I was about 19, and I didn’t understand that you can’t pump your own gas here.”
New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney says 10,000 people are employed, because of the state mandate.
“They might be kids, retired people, or they might be second jobs, but it does make a difference,” Sweeney said. “It helps.”
He also points out gas is cheaper in New Jersey than neighboring Pennsylvania or New York.
“As long as I’m the Senate President,”Sweeney said, “I won’t be posting any bill that would eliminate it.”
As Sweeney puts it, “it’s a little bit of civility that doesn’t exist anywhere else, but it doesn’t mean we’re wrong.”