Florida Governor Charlie Crist has signed into law legislation blocking local governments from billing motorists for emergency response services at the scene of an automobile accident.
SB 2282, sponsored by Sen. Mike Bennett (R.-Bradenton) prohibits local governments from levying additional fees charged for police and fire department response services at the scene of a traffic accident, known as “crash taxes.” Rep. Nick Thompson (R.- Ft. Myers) sponsored the companion bill in the Florida House.
The bill will become effective on July 1, 2009.
“Car accidents should not be a revenue opportunity,” said William Stander, assistant vice president and regional manager for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), which supported the bill. “Local government budgets will no longer be balanced on the backs of automobile accident victims.”
This prohibition does not apply to hazardous material clean-up or ambulance services, including air ambulance.
According to PCI, Florida is the eighth state to ban the crash tax, joining Pennsylvania, Missouri, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee Arkansas and Oklahoma.