Posted Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

In these days of rising prices at the gas pumps, the Morris County Division of Weights and Measures is being extra vigilant in its monitoring of gas stations to ensure that station owners and attendants are adhering to consumer protection laws.

Robert Alviene, division superintendent, said the division’s eight inspectors are in the field daily, inspecting gas station pumps and responding to complaints.

“Our inspectors are charged with protecting honesty in the marketplace,” Alviene said. “Obviously, there is nothing we can do about market conditions, but we certainly can and are closely monitoring gas station pumps and business practices to ensure that Morris County consumers get exactly what they pay for.”

He said inspectors are dropping in on service stations to ensure that gas prices are not being changed more than once in a 24-hour period; that the posted per-gallon price displayed on the roadside sign matches both the per-gallon price sign on the pump and the setting in the pump; that octane levels are accurate; and that the stations are properly registered.

Consumers can also protect themselves, Alviene said, by being more observant when filling up at the pumps.

“Our inspectors place a blue Weights and Measures sticker on gas pumps to verify that the pump has been thoroughly examined and is in proper working order,” Alviene said. “Motorists should look for that sticker, and they should also make sure that the price display on the gas pump is set to zero before the attendant starts the pump.”

He said they should also verify the price the attendant quotes them by checking the display on the pump.

Alviene said motorists may report suspected irregularities to the Morris County Division of Weights and Measures at 973-285-2955.