2016 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 34 - Labor And Workmen's Compensation
Section 34:3A-4 - Findings, Declarations
34:3A-4. Findings, declarations
The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Because of the fire hazards directly associated with dispensing fuel, it is in the public interest that gasoline station operators have the control needed over that activity to ensure compliance with appropriate safety procedures, including turning off vehicle engines and refraining from smoking while fuel is dispensed;
b. At self-service gasoline stations in other states, cashiers are often unable to maintain a clear view of the activities of customers dispensing gasoline, or to give their undivided attention to observing customers; therefore, when customers, rather than attendants, are permitted to dispense fuel, it is far more difficult to enforce compliance with safety procedures;
c. The State needs stronger measures to enforce both compliance by customers with the ban on self-service and compliance by attendants with safety procedures;
d. The higher general liability insurance premium rates charged to self-service stations reflect the fact that customers who leave their vehicles to dispense gasoline or other inflammable liquids face significant inconveniences and dangers, including the risks of crime and fall-related personal injury, which are a special burden to drivers with physical infirmities, such as the handicapped and some senior citizens;
e. Exposure to toxic gasoline fumes represents a health hazard when customers dispense their own gasoline, particularly in the case of pregnant women;
f. The significantly higher prices usually charged for full-service gasoline in states where self-service is permitted results in discrimination against low income individuals, who are under greater economic pressure to undergo the inconvenience and hazards of dispensing their own gasoline;
g. The increasing use of self-service has contributed to the diminished availability of repair facilities and maintenance services at gasoline stations;
h. Even in filling stations which offer both self-service and full-service gasoline, customers are less likely, because of the much higher price usually charged for full service, to have attendants make needed maintenance checks, thus causing significant neglect of maintenance and danger both to the customers and to other motorists, as well as the unneeded costly repairs which often result from deferred maintenance;
i. The prohibition of customer self-service does not constitute a restraint of trade in derogation of the general public interest because the Legislature finds no conclusive evidence that self-service gasoline provides a sustained reduction in gasoline prices charged to customers; and
j. A prohibition of self-service gasoline will therefore promote the common welfare by providing increased safety and convenience without causing economic harm to the public in general.
L.1989, c.263, s.1.
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