Crash Taxes Bring Hefty Bills for Motorists


Thanks in part to the industry's lobbying, 10 states have placed some limits on such collections: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and -- after Jay Middleton's fender-bender -- Pennsylvania.

But Pennsylvania's law only prevents police departments -- not fire departments -- from charging fees.

Paula Callahan said she was shocked when she received a bill from the Irwin, Pa., Fire Department for $1,576 for responding to an accident in which his car was totaled.

Itemized charges on the bill included $50 for brooms, $50 for shovels and $175 for traffic cones, she told WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh.

"I was floored. First of all, what broom costs $50? Shovel $50?" said Callahan. "I think that's outrageous. It's a volunteer fire department. They show up at the scene whether you call them or not."

Irwin Fire Chief Justin Mochar told WTAE that "the $50 for shovels comes prorated. I mean, obviously, if you break equipment it needs replaced." He conceded, "It's a shock at first, but as you can see, I can point you to that truck. That truck is $1.2 million with all the equipment on it."

Still, some municipalities have backed off imposing such charges after complaints. New Yorkers will have a chance to weigh in on Mayor Bloomberg's proposal at a public hearing next month.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 12377299. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 12377299.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: The scene near the finish line of the Boston Marathon is seen in this April 16, 2013 file photo. Inset, suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are seen. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with police and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured.
Elise Amendola/AP Photo; Inset: Lowell Sun, FBI/AP Photo
PHOTO: The first explosion knocked down a runner at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon.
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
PHOTO: Pulaski Township Police Sgt. Chad Adam seen here in this undated Facebook photo, went undercover as an Amish woman.
Pulaski Township Police Department/Facebook
PHOTO: The Earths shadow is cast over the surface of the moon as a total lunar eclipse is seen though a Magnolia tree top in the sky over Tyler, Texas, April 15, 2014.
Dr. Scott M. Lieberman/AP Photo