SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A local gas company owner is speaking out for the first time regarding a proposal that would ban gas sales to illegal dirt bike riders in the city. The owner citing safety concerns for his employees, just one week after dirt bike riders brutally assaulted a driver.
The ordinance would cut illegal riders off at the pumps, but it would fall on gas station employees to enforce it. A hearing Monday evening got heated after some questioned why employees would be tasked with this potentially dangerous job.
“My employees don’t have a badge; they don’t have a gun the police do,” Pride Stores CEO Bob Bolduc said.
Tensions rising during a Springfield Public Safety Committee meeting Monday evening months after a proposal was introduced to ban gas sales to illegal dirt bike riders at city pumps.
“How can you expect some of our young cashiers, both males and females to do this? Why can’t the police do it?” Bolduc asked.
The ordinance would fine gas station owners $100 if the store is caught selling gas to illegal riders, but employees would be responsible for stopping any sales.
“The clerks’ responsibility will be no different of the sale of alcohol and or the sale of tobacco which would be to decline a transaction,” Springfield City Councilor Orlando Ramos said.
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – An eyewitness to the brutal attack of a motorist by a group of…
“They’re going to be really upset, and they’re going to say why didn’t you turn on the pump, I remind you of what happened at the X just last week,” Bolduc said.
Bolduc speaking out for the first time just one week after a group of dirt bike riders brutally attacked a man.
“We’re not going to be afraid of these guys and not do anything because we’re afraid they may hurt someone. That’s exactly why we should do something to get them off the streets,” Ramos said.
“It’s my cashier who is the one who has to be afraid not you; you’re nowhere to be found. It’s absurd you would tell the police you don’t have to do your job we’ll have cashiers do it instead,” Bolduc replied.
Just last year, the city council passed a $300 fine for illegal dirt bike riders, but enforcing it and getting riders off the street has become difficult for police.
“When we’re catching them we’re not only giving them a fine were arresting people were confiscating bikes, and I can best be summed up as we’re doing the best we can,” Springfield Police Sgt. Rick Pelchar said.
“In other words, you’re doing the best you can; you can’t do any better so you’re going to expect the cashier to pick up and do it for you, is that what I’m hearing,” Bolduc said.
Some councilors sided with Bolduc saying there needs to be a better way to get to the root of the issue.
“I just think it puts the teller in a bad solution to tell these people, no I don’t have a solution yet on how to get around it,” Springfield City Councilor Justin Hurst said.
A final vote on the ordinance could happen next week.