A bill in Pennsylvania to get tough with people who fill up
their fuel tanks and drive off without paying, commonly referred to as "drive
offs," "pump and run," or "gas and go" has died.
Sponsored by Sen. Richard Kasunic, D-Fayette, the measure
remained in the Senate Judiciary Committee when the session ended last month,
effectively killing it for the year.
The effort was intended to curb the problem in the state by
costing fuel thieves their driver's licenses.
Kasunic said the protection is needed because drive offs are
becoming a bigger problem.
"It hurts station owners, and ultimately it hurts law
abiding (drivers) who have to pay higher prices at the pump to make up for what
these thieves are stealing," he said in a written statement.
The bill - SB1294 - would have cost drivers convicted of stealing
fuel their driving privileges for 30 days. Second offenses would have resulted
in loss of driving privileges for 60 days. The punishment would have been
extended to one year for third or subsequent offenses. Fines could have totaled
Existing Pennsylvania law doesn't allow for loss of driving
privileges on the first or second offense. Third offenses result in only 30 day
A similar effort remains active in New Jersey.
Sen. Joe Kyrillos, R-Monmouth, introduced the bill that
would increase the penalties for stealing fuel.
Anyone found to have stolen fuel would face fines and
possible prison time. The most serious offense would be five years in prison
for the theft of 10,000 gallons or more.
Kyrillos' bill - S595 - is in the Senate Transportation