(WYTV)- Pumping your gas is illegal in one state.
Up until this summer, it was illegal to pump your gas. An attendant had to do it for you in two states, Oregon and New Jersey. That changed on July 21st when Oregon finally said okay to self serve.
Now it’s only banned in New Jersey. The ban on self-serve gas in New Jersey began in 1949 with a law saying drivers could start fires but there was another reason.
Journalist Paul Mulshine dug into this and reported in 2019 that the law was really meant to fix gasoline prices.
One gas station owner in Hackensack opened a station with 24 pumps in 1949, offering gas at 18 cents a gallon when others sold it at 21 cents. But for 18 cents, you pumped it yourself.
Drivers lined up for blocks and think “Sopranos” because the self serve owner had his office behind bullet proof glass. The rival owners pushed back, persuading the legislature to outlaw self serving gas.
The State Supreme Court upheld the ban, the self serve guy got out of the business and New Jersey has been full serve and nothing else ever since.
From time to time over the years, some politicians have tried to challenge the law. They always fail.