New Surf City Ordinance Charges Visitors for Car Crashes

08/18/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Huntington Beach, CA—A new ordinance, approved this week, will now make it a lot more expensive for out-of-towners who get into a car accident in Surf City. Non-residents who are at fault for an automobile wreck will be required to pay the cost of sending firefighters to the scene of the crash, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The new ordinance was created to help pay the rising cost of sending emergency responders to motor vehicle accident scenes, which spike during the summertime when tourists and visitors vacation in the popular beach city. During the summer months, an estimated 300 automobile accidents take place every year, which cost several thousands dollars for rescue teams to respond per accident.

For a fire truck to respond to a scene of a wreck will cost around $505 an hour, and around $210 an hour for a fire chief to respond.

City officials are defending the ordinance by stating Huntington Beach resident’s property taxes help pay for emergency responders, while visitors do not, leaving the burden of the accidents on residents.

Huntington Beach Mayor Cathy Green said, “We have a city that grows in population during the summer by anywhere between 10 and 13 million people. So this is really about people who are impacting our services so much paying the costs.”

Beginning next month, the city will charge nonresidents $545 for a car accident that resulted spilled gas or oil; $750 if the vehicle catches fire and $1,995 if a victim needs to be extracted.

The ordinance also affects utility companies, who call the fire department because of downed powerlines, burst pipelines and hazardous-material spills. The utility companies will also be charged for the incidents.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California automobile accident lawyers.

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