As of January 1st, Oregon will now permit self-service gasoline stations in counties with 40,000 residents or less. It’s a pretty minor law change, but the reaction on social media has been enormous.
Continue reading for the full story.
The Full Story
For the past 65 years, Oregon drivers have been banned from pumping their own gasoline, as the north western state was one of just two states in the U.S. (New Jersey is the other one) with a law in place that stipulates station employees must fill the tank, rather than the customer. However, back in May of 2017, Oregon passed a new law that opens the option for self-service stations in counties with 40,000 residents or less. The law change just went into effect January 1st, prompting local CBS affiliate KTVL 10 in Medford to post a poll to their Facebook page on whether or not Oregon should allow self-serve gas stations.
The reaction to the poll has been immense, to say the least, with some 46,000 comments 54,000 shares as of this writing. Several Oregonians have expressed concern over pumping their own gas, with one top comment reading:
“No! Disabled, seniors, people with young children in the car need help. Not to mention getting out of your car with transients around and not feeling safe too. This is a very bad idea. Grrr”
Or another that reads:
“I don’t even know HOW to pump gas and I am 62, native Oregonian….. I say NO THANKS! I don’t want to smell like gasoline!”
Of course, given the vast majority of U.S. residents have pumped their own gas the entirety of their driving lives, the troll backlash has been immediate and scathing. One comment reads:
“FEAR NOT OREGON!!!!!
I’ve decided to move to Oregon to open a school to teach people how to pump their own gas. Short term business you say? HA! I will simply branch out and offer classes on such complicated things as:
1. Tying your own shoes.
2. Dressing yourself.
3. Operating a self checkout machine.
4. Dial your own phone.
5. Mow your own lawn.
6. Split your own firewood
7. How to feed yourself.
8. Make your own dinner.
9. Wash, dry and fold your own laundry. (Extra charge as these are three classes taught separately)
10. Operating a can opener, manual and electric.
11. Counting past 10.
12. Wiping your own butt.”
Or there’s this other troll comment:
“No lie, pumping your own gas is MORTIFYING and downright TERRIFYING. I witnessed my dad get viciously eaten by a pack of raptors and a T-Rex, which would have been kept at bay by a qualified gas station attendant. Think of the children, Oregon.”
Of course, we here at TopSpeed like to think we give a fair shake that takes into account all sides of a story. As far as full-service gas stations are concerned, a dedicated pump attendant does make the process a bit safer and help to create jobs. On the other hand, the whole process is as easy as filling a bucket with a hose, and just as long as you don’t do something absurdly stupid like light a cigarette or go for a long-distance fill-up shot, it’s quite safe as well.
Regardless, the law merely opens the option for self-service, and several rural Oregon stations have already come out to say they will continue to offer full service, given that’s what their patrons prefer. So really, the law change is a pretty minor issue – but hey, at least we got a few laughs out of it, right?