Is It Illegal in South Dakota to Leave Car Unattended While Pumping Gas?
In the midst of a conversation the other day, someone mentioned how it is illegal to walk away from your car while you are pumping gas. Is it illegal in South Dakota?
I certainly know from the last few decades that I have been driving that gas stations want you to stay at the pump while you are filling it with gas. There are signs everywhere saying so. It is certainly the 100 percent most safe way to prevent a massive spill of gasoline if one never strays from the pump.
So if you go into the store while the gas is pumping, could you be cited for breaking the law? As best I could tell, no, it is not illegal to start pumping gas and go inside.
I searched the South Dakota Legislature's website and could not find a single law that mentions the practice at all. I searched the Sioux Falls Code of Ordinances and came up empty as well.
I will admit, I have done this numerous times in my life. Growing up in a small farming town, I worked at a fuel Co-Op. It was common practice for a farmer to pull up to the gas pump, start the pump, then come inside to grab a coffee and shoot the bull with me or whoever was there. It wasn't weird to me.
Now I stay at the pump for the inverse reason that gas stations want you to stay there. I'm not worried about a leak, I'm worried the damn pump won't keep running. When I pump gas into any of our three vehicles, it is rare that I can lock the trigger on and have it fill without stopping. I usually have to pull the trigger almost all the way and hold the handle up (so that the nozzle is more down) and then it will fill.
I commend the gas pumping industry for finding a way to get people to stay at the pump without having to lobby for legislation. Now if we could just get them to stop playing that stupid Cheddar guy on the screen, that would be great.