New Yorkers are seriously concerned about a proposed "Crash Tax" that will be levied effective July 1st in New York City. Under the measure anyone involved in a crash on the city streets can be sent a bill for emergency services. The Wall Street Journal describes the measure as follows.
"A vehicle fire or any other incident with injuries will cost $490. A vehicle fire without injuries will cost $415. And incidents without fire or injuries will cost $365.
These charges apply to every vehicle involved in the incident."
The measure will be enacted not by the City Council but by decree of the fire department. The Fire Department will have discretion at the scene of whether or not to bill people at the scene of an accident. The entire measure is being pushed through by administrative decree. An additional problem is that most New Yorkers do not have insurance that will cover ambulance fees levied by the city. Even those who do not have an accident are likely to pay increased insurance premiums.
According to the Wall Street Journal, some localities have banned the practice of fining people at the scene of an accident.
An additional unintended consequence of sending bills for accidents is that some people who need medical attention might leave the scene of an accident by common agreement in order to avoid being fined. If someone is suffering from a concussion or internal bleeding, this could have fatal consequences.
There is nothing wrong with fining people after due process and forwarding the proceeds to the Fire Department. What is being proposed with the "crash tax" is a denial of the rights of the people to due process and an attempt to bypass the legislature of the City of New York. The measure should be scrapped.
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