A Breath of Free Air [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Some of you are too young to remember when oil checks, squeegeed windshield washing and air for the tires were free and inclusive with your purchase of their gasoline.
That was then, this is now as we hear about H 3087, a piece of state legislation that would require gas stations to provide air compressors for free public use.
The bill, filed by Rep. Paul McMurty, also calls for any retail dealer of motor fuel to the public shall provide a gauge for measuring air pressure, available for free public use 24 hours a day, and capable of producing at least 80 pounds per square inch pressure at the outlet. Every dealer will have a sign, clearly visible and not less than eight inches by 10 inches, stating the availability of free air 24 hours a day.
So, let's say you come across a grumpy owner who refuses to comply? The bill actually has wording to establish a hotline for consumers to report retail dealers who don't observe the law.
California and Connecticut already have free air for tires laws in place. In California, the retailer can deny you service if you don't make a gasoline purchase. The bill being discussed here would not require a gas purchase.
The price of the air compressor and equipment would be the responsibility of the retail owner, but over the course of time, the owner could build in the costs to have it paid off in good time.
I'm not sure if more motorists would keep their tires inflated better, helping to conserve both gas and emissions, but just the idea of getting charged four quarters is tiresome –no pun intended.
Seeing that a similar bill has failed before, we should remind our lawmakers that maintaining a bad attitude on this bill is analogous to a flat tire.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.