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Motorists gambling with less fuel in the tank

Nearly two dozen motorists in the Philadelphia region called AAA over the weekend because they had run out of gas.

With gas prices hovering at $4 a gallon, AAA says motorists are gambling by putting less fuel in their tanks. The auto club reported last week that calls from out-of-gas AAA members in the Philadelphia region doubled between May 2007 and May 2008.

Numbers for the full month of May are now in, and AAA spokeswoman Cathy Rossi says they show an even greater spike. In the Philadelphia region, 183 AAA members called for fuel assistance last month - an increase of more than 125 percent over the year before.

Philadelphia is covered by AAA Mid-Atlantic, which has nearly four million members in five states and the District of Columbia. For the entire mid-Atlantic region, AAA reports a 24 percent spike in calls from members with empty tanks.

- AP