FDNY plans to charge for car crashes

December 10, 2010 3:22:39 PM PST
There's a blockbuster development involving the New York City Fire Department.

For the first time in its history, the FDNY says it's going to charge a fee for at least two of its services: car crashes and car fires.

If it's your fault, you pay.

The last thing some motorists wanted to hear about was another bill.

But, if you're involved in an accident, and if the FDNY gets its way, you could get charged when the city's bravest come to the rescue.

It's all about saving money as city agencies try to close huge budget gaps.

The FDNY's proposing what amounts to a menu of different potential charges:
- $490 for a crash or car fire when someone is hurt.
- $415 for a car fire without injuries.
- $365 for a crash without injuries.

A spokesman says, "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."

But, some motorists want to put the brakes on the idea before it catches on.

Thursday night a city official said, "We are going to search for other ways to shift costs away from overburdened taxpayers and towards accountable parties."

The new policy is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2011.

A January 14th public hearing is scheduled on the policy.

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