Your daily Letter to the Columnist, Dec. 12, 2012
Dear Mr. Casey.
I just read your front page story and want to register my sadness about the passage of this full-service auto shop.
I moved from New Jersey to Blacksburg in 2010. You know what I miss most about NJ? No, it’s not storms like Sandy, but one fantastic law. In New Jersey it is against the law to pump one’s own gas. That has to be at the top of the list of my favorite laws.
When I need gasoline I usually am tired, and I do NOT feel like crawling out of my comfortable seat to try to figure out how to first take the cover off my gas tank, then insert the credit card in the proper way, and then figure out how to remove the nozzle and insert it into my tank.
I only fill my tank approximately once a month and in the 20 to 30 times I have filled my tank in the past three years, 80% of the time I have had to request help from a nearby kind person or go inside the station.
Why can’t there at least be some consistency among all of the gas stations as to the proper procedure of accomplishing this tedious and possibly dangerous operation? They all are different!
Once when I went back to my driver’s seat to make a telephone call, I almost drove off without removing the hose. Recently, I read in a station that there is $150 fine for committing such an offense. When I questioned just how often that happens, I was told that at least 3 times a month. WOW!
Multiply that number by all of the stations in this country and figure out the cost to everyone. Just from a safety standpoint, it would seem to be reasonable that service stations should reinstate attendants to pump gas. Think how many young people would be able to get entry level jobs to earn a bit of money if these jobs were once again necessary. If New Jersey can make these laws, why not Virginia and all other states? Why don’t you research this question?
Thank you for your well-written articles which often motivate me to want to write comments. Today I just happened to be sitting in front of my computer so I wrote while the urge was still upon me.
Thanks for helping me get this pet peeve off my chest.
Arlean Lambert, retired Librarian