Fox News reports that beginning March 1st, Missouri City, Texas will start charging drivers extra to cover the cost of responding to accidents. Municipalities with low cash flow will charge motorists hundreds of dollars in additional fines, even if they don’t call for help.
The fee, known as a “Crash Tax”, is already enforced in more than 50 cities in 26 states. Individual insurers may pay the extra cost in many of these places, but a growing number are refusing to. In Texas, insurance companies will be mandated to cover the costs. Still, many are concerned that insurance companies will increase deductibles and premiums or begin limiting coverage in order to compensate for rising costs.
There is a growing resistance against the trend, with ten states already having outlawed it. Three additional states have introduced – but not yet passed – bills preventing local governments from enforcing an accident response tax.
Still, many cities will continue using the fee to keep community funds from running dry. Here in Colorado, the articles says, “a measure that would ban cities from levying the taxes to recoup fire, ambulance and police costs by finding drivers at fault for accidents has made steady gains among state lawmakers in the House but run into opposition with Democrats.”