Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Public opposition to accident response fees is growing across the country.
Evidence of the public backlash comes amid a growing trend of cash-strapped cities to pass on the cost of auto accident response services provided by police and fire departments.
A new Harris Interactive poll conducted by telephone for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) found that three out of four adults (76 percent) believe their taxes cover the time and services provided by emergency response providers following a traffic accident. As a result, they believe additional accident response fees charged by local governments are not necessary.
According to the survey, only one-third of adults believe charging these fees is appropriate, while twice as many (six in 10) disagree with the practice.
Opposition to charging these fees rises to 66 percent if it were to lead to an increase in the cost of insurance and 70 percent if only non-residents are charged the fee.
The survey also found that charging accident response fees could also have a significant impact on local businesses and tourism, as more than four in 10 adults reported they would be reluctant to travel in towns that assess such fees.
The results mirror the findings of a poll commissioned by the Insurance Information Network of California (IINC) last year.
IINC found that only 21 percent of Californians supported the concept of response fees, while 50 percent opposed the idea of cities charging fees to respond to traffic accidents.
Check out I.I.I. information on accident response fees.