In an op-ed in the Boston Herald last week, Michael Graham reports that the Quincy City Council, by a unanimous vote, has approved a "crash tax," meaning people will be charged for crashing their vehicles on city streets, in cases where the driver acted “negligently, recklessly or maliciously.”  And “the fire chief is counting on $250,000 in revenue from such fees to balance this year’s $17.8 million fire department budget.”

Maybe I'm cynical, but I think it's a really bad idea to give public officials a financial incentive for citizens to crash their cars. Will they intervene as quickly when they see a driver weaving in and out of traffic, or wait for the driver to crash so they can collect more revenue for the city? And who gets to decide what constitutes negligence, recklessness or maliciousness? Oh yeah - the same people who stand to benefit from that call. I sincerely hope other cities do not follow Quincy's lead on this one.


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