Oregon is lifting its 72-year-old ban on drivers pumping their own gas.
If you live anywhere else in the U.S. and visit Oregon or New Jersey, you may have experienced being yelled at if you get out of your car and go for the gas pump. Attendants must pump gas in those states, though that is about to change in Oregon. In fact, the state legislature gave their final approval to drop the ban on self-service fuel pumps — a law that’s been on the books in the Beaver State since 1951.
As The Oregonian points out, New Jersey is now the only state where drivers are still prohibited from pumping their own gas.
Now, the legislation does not eliminate gas station attendants entirely. House Bill 2426, as its known, will still require gas stations to staff at least half their open pumps for people who do not want to pump their own fuel. The other pumps would be open for self-service though, meaning you shouldn’t be accosted by friendly (or not-so-friendly) attendants reminding you to stay away from the nozzle.
Gas stations are also prohibited from charging different amounts for attended or self-service pumps.
Drivers and fuel companies have both clamored for Oregon lawmakers to repeal the long-running statute for years. The state did legalize some self-service gas pumps at night in rural or coastal areas in 2015. In 2017, it moved to expand the self-service rule to all rural counties.
Finally, HB 2426 removes language pertaining to coin-operated fuel pumps, since they no longer exist in any practical sense with current gas prices. The largest $1 coin denomination would not even buy a quarter-gallon of fuel in the state, at present prices.
Oregon’s new law will take effect immediately, once governor Tina Kotek signs the bill.