Family of slain gas attendant Jayesh Prajapati supports new anti-gas-and-dash bill 0
The broken-hearted family of Toronto gas station attendant Jayesh Prajapati supports a private member's bill that would require customers to pre-pay for their gas.
Sister-in-law Shaku Dalwadi said the gas-and-dash victim's wife Vaishali is pleased with the legislation introduced by Liberal MPP Mike Colle Thursday, known as "Jayesh's Law," because she believes it will help prevent similar needless deaths.
"She's very proud today. She didn't even cry today," Dalwadi said. "I know we lost Jayesh but we save hundreds by this."
Police say an SUV struck and killed Prajapati as he tried to stop the driver from stealing $112.85 in gas at the Shell Canada station where he worked.
The suspect, Max Edwin Tutiven, 39, remains at large.
Colle's bill would, if passed, demand that the 30% of gas station customers who pay in cash put down their money before filling up.
"It may inconvenience people...but I think it's well worth the inconvenience or the change to stop this horrendous practice that endangers people's lives," Colle said. "Thousands of these (gas thefts) occur — no prosecutions, no police action and it's repeated over and over again, putting people at risk...Right now, they're basically doing it without any kind of repercussion."
The Worker Safety at Gas Stations bill would dramatically increase penalties for owners who make staff pay for stolen fuel, and calls for the suspension of driver's licences for individuals convicted of gas theft.
Labour Minister Linda Jeffrey wouldn't commit to adopting the bill, but said officials are conducting investigations into the workplace death and allegations from the family that Prajapati was docked pay if gas was stolen.
Brother-in-law Hemani Kumar said Prajapati was a kind and gentle man, and also a "perfectionist" at work who did what was expected of him.
Jeffrey said there have been concerns raised in the industry that pre-payment of gas would require the purchase of new technology and would inconvenience customers.
Colle said gas and dash is largely an urban problem, and he would be prepared to entertain changes to exclude gas stations in rural areas or small towns, which are already struggling to survive.
Prajapati was the sole breadwinner in his family and a trust fund has been set up to help his wife and 11-year-old son.
Donations are being accepted at CIBC, transit number 01122, account number 8220433.