It used to be that we were in rare company as one of only two states where it was illegal for drivers to pump their own gas.

Now, we're in no company.

When the calendar flipped from 2017 to 2018, Oregon finally began allowing residents to pump their own gas.

So now it's just us.

New Jersey is now the one and only state to have a prohibition on filling your tank unassisted.

And I think that it's ridiculous.

This is a topic I haven't shied away from in the past, but whenever it comes up I'm always a little perplexed at the responses.

Whenever we talk about the topic of being able to pump your own gas in New Jersey, we get responses that run the gamut from indignant all the way to downright anger, as if someone had suggested that New Jerseyans should be forced to drill for their own oil and refine the petrol themselves before putting it in their tanks with a milkshake straw.

Here's the thing, though - I just want the option.

I want to be allowed to pump my own gas if I want to.

I get it, some people who've spent their whole lives in the Garden State don't know how to fill 'er up.

A lot of people don't want to have to get out of their car in the middle of winter.

And there are always people who are afraid of smelling like gasoline from a trip to the pump.

Sound familiar? These are actual arguments that came straight from Oregonians when the law took effect.

There's even a small cottage industry of t-shirts, magnets, and stickers with the tagline, "Jersey Girls Don't Pump Gas!"

Let me say again - I get it. I really do.

I'm not suggesting that New Jerseyans should be forced to pump their own gas, I'm just saying that we should have the option to self-serve if we individually want to.

And let me also specify - I'm not advocating taking jobs away from New Jersey's force of gas attendants. If you look at the Oregon example, there are considerations in the law for both self-serve and full-serve.

Know what I hate even more than getting out of my car in bad weather and handling a petrol nozzle? How about when there is only one attendant working and you have to sit and wait to be noticed, have them come over and start the pump, and hopefully notice in a timely manner when my tank is full so that I can get on my merry way.

I know that between the comments section here and on our Facebook page, there will be the usual outrage that someone would have the nerve to even suggest such a thing, but I stand by it and will continue to defend my position on this.

For a state that looks to be on the cusp of legalizing marijuana, the fact that it's still illegal for us to do something as harmless as pumping one's own gas is ridiculous.

 

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