In The Pipeline: Crash plan needs explanation

September 01, 2010|By Chris Epting

A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail alert, as I do whenever the words "Huntington Beach" appear in an online news story. From Associated Press, no less, it read in part like this:

"HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Nonresidents who cause car accidents in Huntington Beach could be paying some big bucks under an ordinance approved this week."

The news blip was referring to the fact that the City Council had just approved a recovery program in which non-Huntington Beach residents would have to pay for emergency response services for car accidents, car fires, and pipeline and power line damage that they were found at fault of causing.


It also stated that officials expected the ordinance to pull in about $100,000 in revenue each year.

Meet Ordinance 3888, adopted into the Municipal Code on Aug. 16.

Some readers contacted me about this, as it happens sometimes when a Huntington Beach story starts gaining traction around the country.

The first letters were mostly of the "Can you believe this?" variety, so I thought I'd reach out to some other readers for opinions. After all, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana have implemented similar programs — and nobody seemed to notice. What is it about Huntington Beach?

The messages I got back were about evenly split, pro and con. Here are a few samples:

"As a tourist destination, Huntington Beach should think twice about being so prickly. Even if it's true that 'the insurance companies will pay,' your visitors will still know you tried to stick it to them. Maybe it will earn you a few dollars, but in my case, I'll just head on down to Laguna."


"I think it's a great idea. I just moved out of H.B., where I lived for 30 years. I know how bad the traffic can get in the summer in H.B. Accidents are not only caused by those in the cars, but also by pedestrians. I have had many friends who were injured because out-of-town pedestrians caused them to have an accident. I know that H.B. gets a lot of their revenue from out-of-towners, but I don't think it's the drunk drivers, or drunks in general, that are responsible for bringing in that revenue. If you know what the consequences will be you might be a little more careful."


I also reached out to City Councilman Keith Bohr, who told me this:

"Relatively speaking, we have received a lot of e-mails saying they do not like it and some say they will now avoid visiting H.B. When I say a lot, we are talking about maybe a dozen.

Huntington Beach Independent Articles Huntington Beach Independent Articles