West Michigan drivers react to Oregon’s new self-serve gas law

Posted at 3:40 AM, Jan 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-07 07:15:37-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- When pumping gas into a vehicle, often you'll see drivers doing it themselves, at least in Michigan and surrounding states.

There are some full service gas stations in Michigan, where workers will do it for you. In Oregon, drivers in the state are used to full service gas stations and do not fill up their own tanks, but that's changing with a new law, which is raising concerns among residents there.

Marie Vandyke, 80, of Grand Rapids said learning how to pump your own gas can be intimidating, especially when you're a driver that's never pumped gas most of your life.

“I learned how to do it [fill up gas tank] when my husband passed away five years ago," said Vandyke. "Now I can do it, I’m fine with it.”

Nowadays, it's hard to find places in Michigan that are still full service gas stations. Westside Service in Grand Rapids, Venema Service in Zeeland and Gene's Service in Norton Shores are a few gas stations in West Michigan that are still a full service gas station.

Vandyke said she understands why some people in Oregon may be concerned about a new law where residents in nearly half of that state's 26 counties will have to fill their own gas tanks by themselves, something they've never had to do before.

The Oregon law will only apply to rural counties with fewer than 40,000 people and each gas station can choose whether or not to allow customers to pump their own gas.

“I think it’s strange that there’s places where you still have to wait to have someone do it," said Alec Alspaugh of Grand Rapids.

Alspaugh said it's been about 20 years since he last had someone else pump gas for him.

“I don’t mind getting out in the weather," said Alspaugh. "You can pump it yourself, you pay at the pump, you’re on your way and you don’t have to way for someone to do it."

Oregon was one of the only two states not to allow self-serve gas in the entire country. Now, New Jersey is the last holdout state.