For 73 years, drivers in New Jersey have been barred from pumping their own gas. It’s the only state in the nation that doesn’t allow it at all. Now, after an aborted attempt in 2015, the state’s gas station industry is again pushing to repeal that law, endangering the state’s unofficial motto: “Jersey girls don’t pump their own gas.”
…Under the new bill, New Jerseyans would be allowed to pump their own gas, but stations with more than four pumps would be required to have a full-service option, presumably at a higher price. Those pushing the change say a national workforce shortage has made it more difficult to hire station attendants, a reality that can lead to long lines at the pumps or even force some stores to limit their hours…
New Jersey’s ban on self-serve gas dates back to the 1949 Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act, which cited, among other things, fire hazards and exposure to toxic fumes, “particularly in the case of pregnant women.”
Full-service gas stations were the norm then. But as gas pumps became more modern, and cars got safer, most Americans got accustomed to serving up their own fuel.
But not in New Jersey.