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Vote for Amendment 2 to save lives
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Editor, There is an item of utmost importance to be decided on the Nov. 2 ballot. Amendment 2 proposes “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to impose an annual $10 trauma charge on certain passenger motor vehicles in this state for the purpose of funding trauma care?”
This is an issue that affects every single Georgia resident and needs heavy consideration for a vote in the affirmative.
Trauma is the No. 1 cause of death among Americans ages 1-44 and the third-leading cause of death across all age groups, surpassed only by heart disease and cancer.
The rate of death is 20 percent higher in Georgia compared with the rest of the United States, primarily because of a lack of access to trauma care.
Within the first 60 minutes after an accident, the “golden hour” of trauma, opportunity exists to save lives if appropriate care is delivered. There are only 16 trauma centers in Georgia and only four Level 1 (major) trauma centers.
We need at least twice as many. You are twice as likely to die in a motor vehicle crash if it occurs on I-75 south of Macon. This is because there are no Level 1 trauma centers south of Macon, except for Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. This one center serves 22 counties, but transport to Memorial can take precious time and cost a life.
You can make a difference. Please vote “yes” to adding a $10 charge for car tags. This is merely the cost of two fast-food meals. Potentially, 700 lives could be saved in one year alone by the addition of this fee.
You may live close to Savannah and think you are protected. However, as you travel throughout the state of Georgia, you are at risk. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident in South Georgia, you may suffer unnecessarily because there is not enough access to trauma care.
Additional information is available at

— Dr. Christina M. Berenguer
general surgeon,
Southeast Georgia Surgery
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