Quincy will bill for car crashes

QUINCY – The Mayor of Quincy, Massachusetts is creating quite a buzz in the city. He’s signed an ordinance that will allow the fire department to bill insurance companies when the department responds to car accidents.

The mayor signed the ordinance into law here at City Hall today. and it is already generating a lot of controversy. At the heart of the issue is a basic question – what should your taxes pay for?

In cash-strapped Quincy, a city home to forward thinking forefathers, such as John Adams – another new idea is taking hold.

Mayor Thomas Koch has signed into law a city ordinance that will bill your insurance company if you’re at fault in a car crash and fire fighters respond.

Your insurer will be charged for the cost of the fire department’s response.

Mayor Koch: “We need to find alternative ways to raise revenues to continue to provide those services that people expect, as well. And we thought this was a reasonable approach to do that.”

But not everyone agrees.

As you might imagine, insurance companies are not happy either. The property casualty insurers association of america says… “public safety is a basic role of government, and it is paid for through state and local taxes.  these accident-response fees add unnecessary costs to insurance coverage that could affect the premiums that citizens pay.”

So what happens if insurance companies simply refuse the bill?

Mayor Koch: “Well, we’re going to find out.”

The mayor says, he’ll do what ever it takes to get them to pay.

Mayor: “My challenge is to deliver services to the city of Quincy residents in the best way possible and we’re trying to do that in a very cost effective way.”

The mayor says, in a way… the city is already billing insurance companies, and he gives this example if your car hits a light pole. The city will charge your insurance company for the cost of replacing that pole. This new law, he says, is an extension of that.