by: Lee Stoll Updated:
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Canadians stockpiling cheap gas in Washington are putting drivers in danger and state patrol says there's nothing they can do about it.
A van loaded with fuel crashed into a wall last month in Vancouver, erupting in flames. Another car exploded in Surrey two weeks ago.
"I'm hearing that there's 20, 30, 40, 50 gallons a shot going in people's trunks, crossing the border," said Washington State Trooper Keith Leary.
We found Canadian drivers buying gas like they buy milk, a gallon jug at a time. The cans are often stacked in the back of a car like groceries.
We asked Leary, "Are these shoppers turning their cars into bombs?"
"You know, potentially they are, they really are," he said.
Canadians like Chris Taylor fill up in the U.S., where gas can be a dollar or more cheaper per gallon.
More than 30 drivers were in line at Bellingham's Costco gas station Friday afternoon.
"That's crazy, that people actually drive around with that much fuel on," said Taylor.
In Washington drivers can carry 1000 gallons of fuel in their car without a permit - but you can't take it all across the border. In Canada drivers are only allowed 40 gallons of extra fuel.
We asked Leary, "Do you feel like your hands are tied?"
"You know, we want people to use common sense," he said.
Troopers say the law was intended to work for people with farm equipment, boats or trailers.