Credit: Photo by Engin Akyurt:

More than 75 gas stations throughout New Jersey will lower their prices last Friday to demonstrate how much motorists could save if the state offered the option of self-serve gas.

The Fuel Your Way NJ Self-Serve Day of Awareness is part of campaign to educate the public about how much they could potentially save if the “Motorist Fueling Choice and Convenience Act,” were enacted.

The legislation, which was introduced in the state Assembly in February, would allow gas stations the option of offering self-serve, while still requiring stations with more than four dispensers to continue to offer full-service gas pumps, giving consumers the option to pump their own gas if they wish.

“With the cost of gas prices continuing to rise, it’s taking a bigger and bigger bite out of people’s wallets,” said Sal Risalvato of Fuel Your Way NJ. “We want the public to know that one of the quickest ways we can reduce gas prices is to allow gas stations the ability to offer self-serve in New Jersey.”

Motorists who pull into participating gas stations will also be handed a facsimile of a $100 bill during the next several weeks with the message that they could save $100 to $400 per year if the state allowed self-serve. Motorists will be encouraged to contact their representatives demanding passage of the legislation.

Gas stations will also display a sign next to pumps that have been closed with the message: “This pump would be open if New Jersey allowed self-serve fueling.”

Risalvato said gas stations are having difficulty hiring staff to fully man all their pumps. As a result, motorist are often inconvenienced when they are forced to wait in long lines for the few pumps that are open.

The legislation, A3105, is sponsored by Assembly members Carol Murphy, Ned Thomson and Annette Chaparro. A companion bill has not been introduced yet in the Senate.

A recent Monmouth University Poll found that a majority of New Jerseyans support self-serve gas as long as stations maintained a full-service option. More than 2 in 3 told pollsters they would pump their own gas if given the option and they would save money.

“The legislation gives motorists a choice of self-serve while they can continue to receive full-serve, which is exactly what New Jerseyans say they want,” Risalvato said. “But the legislature won’t pass this bill unless they hear from constituents. If you support self-serve choice, speak up. Contact your legislators and let them know.”

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