And if they ever happen to need those services, they'll now be asked to pay again.
The board of supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance allowing the township to impose a fee for the fire department's response to traffic accidents -- $175 to $550 depending on the amount of service provided.
The idea is to offset a small portion of the $2.3 million the township is paying this year for fire, ambulance and rescue services.
A very small portion.
Township manager David Raver estimates the proposal would generate up to $40,000 -- just 1.73 percent of the emergency services budget.
The amount is so small, in fact, the new ordinance appears more of a punitive measure than a way to recoup costs.
It's not as if anyone plans to have an accident or an emergency. To stick those unfortunate few with a bill on top of everything else is rubbing salt in the wound. That's particularly true since they already pay for the service, and probably have never needed it before.
Raver says the new fee will be billed to insurance companies; if drivers are uninsured, or the insurance company refuses to pay the claim, the township will treat it as a non-collectable bill, he says.
But Sam Marshall, president and CEO of The Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, said most insurance policies wouldn't cover the cost of such fees -- and if they did it would likely be passed on to the consumer anyway.
Township officials suggest non-residents likely will be picking up most of the tabs, since the fire department often responds to accidents involving out-of-towners traveling on Route 30 and Interstate 83.
But surely township residents also will be billed -- and we suspect more often than non-residents, despite officials' claims.
If the township couldn't exempt residents -- which solicitor David Keiter says is illegal -- the supervisors should have scrapped this ill-conceived plan altogether.