Ding! There goes the charming little reminder that your car is getting low on fuel, as most new cars come straight from the factory with an audible reminder that it's time to fill up. No big deal, right? Just takes a quick second to remember which side the filler is on, then you get out, unscrew the cap and insert the nozzle. Fill 'er up... couldn't be easier.
Unless you live in New Jersey or Oregon, notes The Wall Street Journal, where it's still illegal to pump your own gas. According to Bikram Gill, a businessman who bought up 26 gas stations in New Jersey, "Any idiot can do it." We know for a fact that there are idiots in all 50 states, and in 48 of them, those idiots are free to handle the somewhat volatile fuel themselves.
In 1951, though, the Supreme Court of New Jersey decided it was too dangerous to allow just anyone to pump gas, suggesting that the process of refueling is best left to the professionals.
Predictably, there have been attempts to change the law. In 1988, a judge issued a ruling that it was unconstitutional to disallow Americans the right to pump their own gas, but it was later overturned by a court of appeals. And again in 2006, governor John Corzine attempted to put self-service stations along the Turnpike, but the voting public said 'No Thanks.'And so it remains illegal to pump your own gas in Jersey. Of course, the next time it's raining or snowing or sleeting and you need to fill up, something tells us you'll understand...