The Springfield City Council will be considering a proposal that would require you to pay for your gasoline before pumping it at gas stations:
The ordinance would bar gas stations from dispensing fuel before it is paid for. That means customers would either have to pay at the pump using a credit or debit card or they would have to give an attendant cash for the amount of gas they want before pumping.I’ll give you another reason this is a public safety issue: the pump-and-dash perpetrators can recklessly speed away in hoping to increase their chances of not getting caught. I know this because one day about ten years ago the car I was driving was struck by one of these guys. I had just turned on to a side street near Stevenson Drive when a vehicle came barreling out of an alleyway and smacked the front end of my car before speeding off in a cloud of dust. It was a minor accident (I was not hurt) but it could have been a whole lot worse had I been a second or two farther along than I was. It turned out the person who hit me was fleeing from the Qik-N-EZ on Stevenson after having stolen $5 in gas. That $5 cost me (and my insurance company) several thousand dollars in repairs to my car.
The ordinance, sponsored by Ward 7 Ald. Judy Yeager, is aimed at reducing what she said is an increased number of people driving off before they pay. Ward 2 Ald. Frank McNeil and Ward 8 Ald. Irv Smith said Tuesday they would co-sponsor the measure.
Yeager said many gas stations across Illinois have a 24-hour-a-day, pay-first policy. She sees it as a public-safety issue.
"So often the people at the gas station don't have anything other than the color of the car ... and so consequently the likelihood of you catching that individual is slim, and that time has been wasted where (police) could be doing something else," Yeager said.
Ralph Caldwell, the city's assistant police chief, said he supports the ordinance because it would make it virtually impossible to drive off without paying for gas. That could lead to the elimination of police calls to gas stations to respond to such crimes.
Another advantage to this proposal is it would prevent accidental drive offs. That does happen. Again, I have personal experience with it. That is, a long, long time ago I unintentionally drove off without paying. Since then, I have ALMOST done the same thing a couple of occasions. These incidents would not have happened if I had been forced to pay first.
So yes, by all means, make it mandatory to pay before pumping. I don’t see a downside.