Friday, February 17, 2012
Ever Wondered Why You Can't Pump Your Own Gas In Oregon?
Evil gas pumps want to murder you and your car!
Since 1951 the population of the entire state of Oregon has been banned from pumping their own gasoline (oddly, they can pump their own diesel). The only other state in the Union to mandate similar action is New Jersey. How could two states that could not be more different from one another necessitate similar "safety measures" to protect the public at large? Here's the full statute as written into Oregon law specifically explaining why it's residents are banned from pump duty. While it reads a bit like the writings of a paranoid agoraphobic who sees dangers around every corner, as Oregon residents ourselves, we kinda' enjoy pretending to be a low speed Jensen Button sailing into the pits for a top off as we prepare for the next lap (or text the wife to see what she needs from the grocery).
REGULATION OF GASOLINE DISPENSINGThe Legislative Assembly finds and declares that:
(1) The dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by dispensers properly trained in appropriate safety procedures reduces fire hazards directly associated with the dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids;
(2) Appropriate safety standards often are unenforceable at retail self-service stations in other states because cashiers are often unable to maintain a clear view of and give undivided attention to the dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by customers;
(3) Higher liability insurance rates charged to retail self-service stations reflect the dangers posed to customers when they leave their vehicles to dispense Class 1 flammable liquids, such as the increased risk of crime and the increased risk of personal injury resulting from slipping on slick surfaces;
(4) The dangers of crime and slick surfaces described in subsection (3) of this section are enhanced because Oregon’s weather is uniquely adverse, causing wet pavement and reduced visibility;
(5) The dangers described in subsection (3) of this section are heightened when the customer is a senior citizen or has a disability, especially if the customer uses a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, walker, cane or crutches;
(6) Attempts by other states to require the providing of aid to senior citizens and persons with disabilities in the self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids at retail have failed, and therefore, senior citizens and persons with disabilities must pay the higher costs of full service;
(7) Exposure to toxic fumes represents a health hazard to customers dispensing Class 1 flammable liquids;
(8) The hazard described in subsection (7) of this section is heightened when the customer is pregnant;
(9) The exposure to Class 1 flammable liquids through dispensing should, in general, be limited to as few individuals as possible, such as gasoline station owners and their employees or other trained and certified dispensers;
(10) The typical practice of charging significantly higher prices for full-service fuel dispensing in states where self-service is permitted at retail:
(a) Discriminates against customers with lower incomes, who are under greater economic pressure to subject themselves to the inconvenience and hazards of self-service;
(b) Discriminates against customers who are elderly or have disabilities who are unable to serve themselves and so must pay the significantly higher prices; and
(c) Increases self-service dispensing and thereby decreases maintenance checks by attendants, which results in neglect of maintenance, endangering both the customer and other motorists and resulting in unnecessary and costly repairs;
(11) The increased use of self-service at retail in other states has contributed to diminishing the availability of automotive repair facilities at gasoline stations;
(12) Self-service dispensing at retail in other states does not provide a sustained reduction in fuel prices charged to customers;
(13) A general prohibition of self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by the general public promotes public welfare by providing increased safety and convenience without causing economic harm to the public in general;
(14) Self-service dispensing at retail contributes to unemployment, particularly among young people;
(15) Self-service dispensing at retail presents a health hazard and unreasonable discomfort to persons with disabilities, elderly persons, small children and those susceptible to respiratory diseases;
(16) The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336, requires that equal access be provided to persons with disabilities at retail gasoline stations; and
(17) Small children left unattended when customers leave to make payment at retail self-service stations creates a dangerous situation.