Rep. Beau LaFave’s plan allowing gas stations to leave their pumps on and accessible to customers when an attendant is not on duty is advancing in the Michigan House.
House Bill 4792 was approved this week by the Ways and Means Committee. The legislation next advances to the House floor for further consideration.
The common-sense measure will allow customers in sparsely populated areas such as the Upper Peninsula to have access to fuel 24 hours a day. Most states – including neighboring states such as Wisconsin and Ohio – already allow this practice with unattended stations.
“There’s a good reason most other states do not require the presence of a gas station attendant to sell fuel – it’s not 1920 anymore, and we have brand new gas pumps and handles that are very safe and easy for consumers to use,” LaFave said. “Those safety standards do not change.”
LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said his plan is important to public safety. His legislation would make it economically feasible for stations to be open 24 hours a day – meaning people would not have the fear of running out of gas on bitter cold Upper Peninsula nights and in other emergency situations.
In regions such as southeast Michigan, LaFave said allowing stations to be open around-the-clock – including times when a station is not staffed – will limit congestion and space out traffic at stations, helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We must get rid of this completely unnecessary government overregulation – and in my opinion, we will save lives if we do,” LaFave said.