Thursday, September 1, 2011
As Texas drivers prepare for the holiday weekend, I was pleased to travel to Houston and Dallas today where I introduced a series of program enhancements to put consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to getting what they pay for at the fuel pump.
A new consumer information sticker is now required to be placed on all Texas fuel pumps and links consumers to a new mobile website, www.TexasAgriculture.gov/fuel, via their smartphones. From there, they can view pump inspection history and submit on-site complaints about the fuel station directly to the Texas Department of Agriculture if they suspect they are being shortchanged when topping off their tanks.
Additionally, retailers operating non-compliant pumps will now be fined up to $5,000 and have their fuel devices tagged out-of-order. Along with doubling, quadrupling or increasing penalties as much as tenfold, a new zero-tolerance policy also eliminates any grace period for those retailers failing to register their pumps.
Fortunately, 93 percent of all Texas retail fuel pumps registered with the Texas Department of Agriculture are found to be compliant with the laws. This new sticker, website and penalty structure are aimed at those bad apples that cheat Texas drivers out of their hard-earned money and cheat businesses in their own industry out of fair competition.
Travel safely this Labor Day weekend and go with peace of mind knowing you can now take action to ensure true value for your dollar at the pump.