Pre-paying at pumps ‘only logical’
Gas-and-dash death spurs renewed calls for legislation
The death of an Edmonton man in a gas and dash in Thorsby over the weekend has renewed the conversation about pay before you pump legislation in Alberta.
Ki Yun Jo was killed after being struck by a motorist who stole about $200 worth of gas from the Fas Gas in Thorsby.
Jo’s son, Sung Hyun, has start- the GoFundMe can be found at
ed a GoFundMe to help cover his father’s funeral and other expenses since the gas station was his family’s only source of income.
On the page, he said he believes mandatory pre-pay laws would have prevented his father’s death.
“It is such a tragedy that it should have not happened to a hard-working man who was trying to do everything to survive … I would only wish if the government applied the law sooner so this tragedy would have been prevented.”
Currently, British Columbia is the only province with mandatory pre-pay legislation.
Andrew Klukas, spokesperson for the Western Convenience Store Association, said there’s no doubt mandatory pre-pay at pumps saves lives.
“We do have to acknowledge that mandatory pre-pay is effective in eliminating the risk … it works, frankly. If you have mandatory pre-pay, no one ever gets hurt from a drive off,” he said.
Some have argued that mandatory pre-pay leads to a loss of sales due to fewer people physically entering the store and buying secondary items, but Klukas said while there was an initial drop in sales, it “bounced back” after a few months.
Some chains, such as Macs Convenience Stores and Husky, have already moved to mandatory pre-pay as an internal company policy.
“It should be right across Canada in my view,” said Doug Hartl, Manager of Security for Macs. “If you’re talking about safety and security of your staff and customers, it’s only logical.”
In his statement, Sung Hyun said the family had looked into implementing automated machines but they were too expensive.
Automated pumps can cost tens of thousands of dollars, said Rob Hoffman, director of government and stakeholder relations for the Canadian Fuels Association.
“It would be a challenge, especially for independent retailers in smaller, more rural areas,” Hoffman said.
If the government does move towards mandatory pre-pay at pumps, Klukas said it’s important the policy applies to all gas stations so as to not encourage thieves to steal from smaller, more isolated locations.
“With some of the larger chains voluntarily going to mandatory pre-pay, what that could do, at least in theory, is drive fuel theft to those remaining locations that don’t have it … So there is an argument for across the board.”
What that could do, at least in theory is drive fuel theft to those remaining locations that don’t have it. Andrew Klukas
Ki yun Jo was killed after being struck by a motorist who stole about $200 worth of gas from the Fas Gas in Thorsby.