‘Accident Service Fee’ Ordinance Under Consideration

An accident, no matter how “minor”, can be an expensive occasion. There are repairs, possibly increased insurance, even medical bills in some of the worst accidents. At the very least, there will be a cost in time and effort that could have better been spent elsewhere. A new ordinance pending in the St. Andrews service district may soon add to that cost. Even drivers who don’t live in the area, and who are only passing through, may well be effected.

As it now stands, firefighters from neighboring areas can respond to calls out of their service district to improve response times. This agreement has dramatically shortened the time it takes for firefighters to arrive on the scene. Unfortunately, this has been a great burden in the St. Andrews district. Before the response agreement, they received about 900 calls for aid. Just five years after the agreement was made, there were over 5,000 calls. St. Andrews officials are looking for ways to offset the costs of these added out-of-district calls without raising taxes, which would charge the people of St. Andrews for accidents in other areas.

The ordinance has been in discussion since August 2013, with officials considering ways to charge out-of-area people for firefighter service. The fee has yet to be authorized and will come up before a public hearing in April 2014. Exact details are currently unknown: Officials have mentioned a cost of $1 per every $1,000 of firefighting equipment used in the accident, which would then be passed to the driver’s insurance company. Some officials are worried that drivers will take issue with the new fee, but they are determined to keep taxes low.

The cost of an accident is why legal compensation is so important in the cases. An accident can not only result in physical or emotional damage — it can cause financial damage as well. Howell & Christmas are experts in personal injury cases. Call them for a free consultation and see what they can do to get you the compensation you deserve.

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