New Jersey's 39-year-old law banning motorists from pumping their own gas has been overturned by a Superior Court judge, who said the safety considerations that led to the law's enactment are now invalid.

But Judge Martin L. Haines suspended his ruling for six months to give the Legislature an opportunity to enact regulations complying with his decision.Oregon is the only other state that prohibits self-service stations.

Proponents of self-service stations praised the decision, which was announced Thursday. They said it could help drive down costs at the pump by decreasing labor expenses.

But Jerry Ferrara, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline Retailer's Association and Allied Trades Inc., which represents about 3,000 service stations in New Jersey, said such a decision would lead to service station layoffs and the closing of gas station repair bays.