While a growing number of New Jersey groups and organizations are in favor of allowing self-serve gasoline, a handful of legislators have blocked bills to change the law, but at least one advocate still believes it should be an option for drivers.

Gas Pump
(Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images)

New Jersey is only one of two states in the nation that prohibit residents from pumping their own gas. Jim Benton, executive director of the New Jersey Petroleum Council said that up until about 1950, New Jerseyans were allowed to pump their own gas, and the Garden State was actually one of the first in the nation to offer the choice of self or full-serve.

"Self-service isn't for everybody but it should be allowed as an option as it is in 48 other states, for customers to choose when they want it or when they don't," Benton said.

He said several studies have shown the number one concern of customers that come into a gas station is speed of service.

"They want to refuel and move along and to that end self service from time to time can accommodate that," he said. "No New Jerseyan should be forced to pump their own gasoline. The tradition of full service gasoline is clearly embedded, but there's no reason to invoke a penalty on those that are practicing what is done in 48 other states in the nation."

He also said no other state in the nation is looking at following the New Jersey model and requiring full-service only gas stations.

"Self-service gasoline can make sense as an additional option for New Jersey consumers," he said. "It can offer opportunities on some lower prices, it can work to modernize and facilitate new investment in stores, and there are more people employed at profitable retail locations offering multiple options, whether it's sandwiches, whether it's coffee, drinks. We think it ought to be encouraged as an option in addition to continuing to offer full service."

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