Wreck Your Car in the Big Apple, Get a Big Bill From the Fire Department

New York City is joining a list of municipalities that charge motorists who use the services of the fire department after a traffic accident. According to this article in the Wall Street Journal

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.

“We want to relieve pressure on the taxpayer and place it on those at fault and their insurance,” said Steve Ritea, a spokesman for the FDNY. “Right now if you’re at fault at an accident or a vehicle fire, you get a free ride. And that should not be borne by the taxpayers.”

If approved, the FDNY fee will go into effect on July 1. The practice of charging those involved in traffic accidents isn’t widespread. According to the WSJ article, 55 cities in California charge similar fees and 20 more are considering it. There are some cities that also charge a fee for firemen showing up at house fires, although that’s not something currently under consideration in New York.

It’s unclear why cities are charging when the fire department shows up for a wreck, but not under seemingly similar circumstances, such as when the police show up to a crime scene. Nor is there any mention of overall tax cuts that should result when expenses are shifted from the city’s population to individual taxpayers. New Yorkers probably shouldn’t hold their breath for that…

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,194 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.