CALGARY — An Alberta gasoline retailer is renewing a call for pay-before-you-pump legislation after one of its employees was seriously injured when she tried to stop two people in a stolen pickup truck from driving away without paying.
Police say the driver took off after filling up at a Centex gas station in Calgary’s northwest Sunday morning.
The employee, a woman in her 30s, gave chase and stood in front of the truck to try to block it from leaving. She was hit and carried along on the hood before she fell off and was run over.
Police are still looking for the suspects.
CTV News reported the employee was in a coma in the intensive care unit at Foothills Hospital.
Alnoor Bhura, president of Centex Petroleum, said in a statement Monday that such thefts occur every day and little has been done to stop them.
“The government of Alberta has shown very little or no leadership in this matter in the past, even though they have been advised by various chiefs of police to adopt ’pay-before-pump’ legislation,” said Bhura, whose company has service stations throughout the Calgary area.
“We hope the new government reconsiders this issue and brings forward some much needed legislation and leadership.”
Bhura said his company’s policy is for employees not to put themselves at risk chasing a “gas runaway,” but “it’s understandable how an employee may react in the heat of the moment.”
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann also called on the province to bring in pay-before-you-pump legislation similar to that in British Columbia.
B.C. was the first province in Canada seven years ago to legislate having to pay upfront for gasoline. Grant’s Law was crafted after Grant De Patie, a young gas station attendant, was dragged to his death in 2005 while trying to stop someone in a gas and dash.
Many North American jurisdictions have the same law.
“This was a preventable, serious injury that could have been a death,” Swann told Calgary radio station CHQR on Monday.
“There is no reason we can’t regulate this kind of thing and make it safer for the workplace.”
There should also be better training for employees in dealing with people who are about to break the law, so that they don’t put themselves at risk, Swann suggested.