Demanding “free air” for motorists at local gas stations, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino announced that he is proposing local legislation that would prohibit gas stations within the township from charging for air. What’s more, the new amendment would mandate that stations provide readily available free air, complete with pressure gauges. Santino stated that the new amendment has become necessary due to the fact that numerous gas stations are circumventing a 1978 law that was put in place to ensure free air for drivers. Joining the Supervisor at a press briefing were Councilmen Gary Hudes, Edward Ambrosino and Anthony D’Esposito.
Recently, local motorists have complained that some area gas stations have not been forthcoming in letting them know that free air was available to fill up car tires,” observed Santino. “Instead, these stations had prominently visible air compressors that required a fee for use. What’s more, some gas station employees would offer excuses or be evasive when confronted with requests for free air. Armed with my law, our residents would get ‘free air, not hot air.’”
Santino’s proposed legislation would amend a July 7, 1978 law that already requires gas stations to provide free air for customers. The current law, however, does not expressly prohibit station owners charging for air while having free air available upon request. As a result, some motorists have complained that the free air supply at local gas stations has not been readily accessible. What’s more, many drivers have noted that free air supply hoses often lack pressure gauges, requiring motorists to carry their own air gauges.
“This is positive, consumer-friendly legislation for motorists,” stated Ambrosino. “Providing free air for the people who patronize local gas stations is good business and it’s the law,” added Hudes. “This new amendment will ensure that gas stations do not circumvent the law to charge motorists for something that should be free of charge,” said D’Esposito.
Santino’s new “free air” legislation would, if adopted, take effect on June 1, 2016. The township will communicate with the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association (LIGRA) to ensure that local gas stations receive notice of the legislation. If the Supervisor’s proposal passes the town board, residents who come across gas stations that continue to charge for air after June 1st could report violations to the Town’s Building Department by calling (516) 801-5642. Hempstead Town Building Department Inspectors would issue summonses to violators.
“Residents are tired of getting ‘hot air’ instead of ‘free air’ at area gas stations,” concluded Santino. “With this law, motorists can fill up their tires without charge and free of hassles.”