British Columbians are taking advantage of cheaper American gas by heading across the border with jerry cans, sometimes returning with as much as 200 gallons of gasoline in the containers.
The problem with vehicles carrying jerry cans is the potential for a gasoline-fuelled cataclysm in the event of a crash.
A Blaine, Washington resident who wishes to remain anonymous has concerns about the situation, "This has been going on for some time. It is one thing to drive from a local station with enough gas to fill the mower and quite another to drive across the border, then who knows where, with the rear end full of gas cans. These guys are like terrorists and don't even know it."
In a related situation, there have been two recent incidents in BC in which vehicles carrying containers of stolen gas have burst into flames.
There appears no easy way to stop the growing problem. US border agents are ‘not comfortable’ with the practice but currently have no legal precedent to stop it, while Canadian border agents address only the 5.1% tax placed on cans of gasoline brought in to the country.
ICBC spokesman Adam Grossman recommends adding extra coverage as a precaution. “If you’re driving around with extra containers of gas in your car and you are in a serious crash, the potential liability could be very large, given the flammable risks involved.”
The BC government has concerns about the decline in gas tax revenue in the province, and while the suggestion of a border toll has been discussed as a possible solution, the government is reluctant to take this step.
Additional files from CTV.