By Gil McGowan

Ki Yun Jo. Remember that name.

He was a husband, a father and a friend to many in the central Alberta town of Thorsby, where he worked as an attendant at the local Fas Gas station.

He died over the Thanksgiving long weekend; the victim in yet another gas-and-dash robbery.

Every death is a tragedy. But Jo’s death is particularly poignant because it didn’t have to happen.

It didn’t have to happen because the provincial government could have – and should have – implemented common-sense workplace safety regulations after Alberta’s last gas-and-dash fatality.

That one involved a young mother, Maryam Rashidi, who died in June 2015 after being run over by a thief fleeing the Centex gas station in Calgary where she worked.

Both Rashidi and Jo would probably be alive today if Alberta had followed B.C.’s example by introducing a pay-before-you-pump rule for all gas stations in the province.

The B.C. regulation – called Grant’s Law, after Grant De Patie, a young gas station attendant who was killed trying to prevent a robbery in 2005 – is a rare example of a public policy that has been 100 per cent effective.

Since the introduction of Grant’s Law in 2008, there hasn’t been a single fatality or injury in B.C. related to gas-and-dash robberies. In fact, by making it impossible for anyone to fill their tank before paying, the rule has essentially eliminated an entire category of crime.

Grant’s Law, in its initial form, had three components: pay-before-you pump; mandatory training for gas station attendants about how to deal with robberies; and a requirement that attendants either work in pairs or behind safety barriers after 11 p.m.

The rules about working alone or behind safety barriers were watered down in 2012 – which is a shame, because gas-and-dash incidents are not the only kind of robberies faced by …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald

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