Pontiac Wants Charge Fees for Extricating Crash Victims

Apart from covering the repair costs of insured cars that are involved in accidents, in the future, car insurance companies might also have to pay for the extrication of victims stuck in a vehicle following a crash.

According to The Pantagraph, the latest proposal of Pontiac Fire Chief John Cummins is to charge a fee for the extrication of victims trapped in a car. He claims that such a fee would help pay for overtime costs often associated with calling a second fire department vehicle to the scene.

“This would be to collect enough to offset overtime,” Cummins said. “Last year we had 52 incidents where this could have taken place.”

Cummins wrote a memo to the City Council in which he suggests that a person's car insurance should pay about $300 per hour as flat fee. He added that the Illinois Compiled Statutes allows billing for specialized rescue with a maximum rate being set at $125 per hour per vehicle and $35 per hour per firefighter.

“The state can allow over $600, and we’re not looking to do even half of that,” Cummins explained.

Although Pontiac does not charge anything for these incidents, it seems that other regions do. Therefore, the proposal already benefits from positive comments. Ward 1 Alderman John McGlasson said such a fee would transfer the cost from the government to the individual or the driver’s insurer.

“People who can’t pay the bill, their expenses get shuffled off to insurance carriers and government,” he claims. “So, I think we at least ought to be making an attempt to collect from people who can pay, whether they are covered by insurance or not.”

The City Council seems also rather enthusiastic about the idea and it has already voted to approve writing a draft of the proposal.

Although several details still need to be discussed, the idea might very soon turn into a regulation...
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