TRENTON, N.J.— The New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience, Automotive Association (NJGCA) is asking the state to suspend its ban on self–serve gasoline to minimize contact during the coronavirus pandemic. New Jersey is the only state in the United States that does not permit motorists to pump their own gasoline after Oregon recently lifted restrictions on drivers pumping their own gas through early April.
Sal Risalvato, NJGCA executive director, surveyed members and found that employees who work as gas attendants do not feel safe having contact with customers who may be infected with coronavirus, since it is impossible to maintain the six-foot distance required while interacting with motorists to refuel their vehicle.
The survey also noted that motorists share the same concern, with many insisting on pumping their own gas and refusing to allow attendants to touch their credit cards. New Jersey retailers have found it increasingly difficult to staff gasoline stations as the virus continues to spread.
“A temporary suspension of the laws that prohibit motorists from pumping their own gas would allow motorists to fill their own tanks and take their own hygienic precautions in order to avoid spreading coronavirus,” Risalvato said in a press release.
“This is as simple as providing sanitizing wipes for customers to wipe gas nozzles, which is exactly what grocery stores are doing with shopping carts. It is otherwise impossible for gas attendants and motorists to maintain the six-foot social distance that is currently required.”
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.