Pre-pay­ing at pumps ‘only log­i­cal’

Gas-and-dash death spurs re­newed calls for leg­is­la­tion

Metro Canada (Edmonton) - - Edmonton - Omar Mosleh do­na­Tions

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

www.go­fundme. com/thorsby-fas-gas.

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

Con­trib­uted

Ki yun Jo was killed after be­ing struck by a mo­torist who stole about $200 worth of gas from the Fas Gas in Thorsby.

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