Tampa City Council Considers Bill to Charge At-Fault Drivers for Accidents
The Tampa City Council is considering the pros and cons of proposing a bill that would force at-fault drivers to cover the costs associated with the car accidents they caused. This idea was initially raised in 2007, but was not successful. Now, the City Council has charged City Attorney Chip Fletcher and the Tampa legal department with evaluating the benefits of such a policy.
However, there are several legislative obstacles which may limit the Tampa City Council’s ability to pass such a law. In 2009, the legislature took several steps to severely limit the city’s ability to recover money from individuals responsible for car accidents. These measures were adopted to prevent these costs from being passed onto insurance companies, who would in turn raise the rates of drivers in the area.
However, Tampa’s legal department is considering charging at-fault drivers for several issues not covered by the 2009 laws, including helicopter or hazmat responses.
While at-fault drivers are generally held responsible for personal injury and property damage to others suffered as a result of the car accident they caused, it is rare for a city to make these drivers liable for the municipal costs associated with the accident. It will be interesting to see how this potential legislation unfolds in the coming months.