Tomorrow, Georgia voters will be asked to vote on proposed Amendment 2 to the state constitution. Amendment 2 would impose on a surcharge on reckless driving fines to support Georgia citizens who've suffered traumatic brain and/or spinal injuries. Nearly 50% of traumatic brain and spinal injuries are caused by vehicle wrecks and car crashes. The Amendment seeks to have offenders pay towards the harm they've caused. The Amendment reads:
"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow additional reckless penalties or fees to be added to the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund to pay for care and rehabilitative services for Georgia citizens who have survived neurotrauma with head or spinal cord injuries?"
Amendment 2 is not a new tax on Georgians. Rather, only offenders (convicted) of reckless driving will pay this fee on top of the fine imposed by the court. The Trust Fund is already in existence, however, it is currently only funded with a surcharge on top of DUI fines. Amendment 2 seeks to add fees to the Trust Fund from reckless driving convictions. The good news is that DUI convictions are down, perhaps indicating that less drivers are driving under the influence, but also indicating that plea bargaining helps convicted DUI offenders avoid fees.. Thus, fees from DUI fines to the Trust Fund are down as well. Georgians can help other Georgians by increasing the Trust Fund through a surcharge on reckless driving fines as well.
The Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund helps those severely injured become productive citizens again through rehabilitation, skills training, providing transportation and other services which help with independence and self-sufficiency. Not every victim of traumatic brain and/or spinal injuries will qualify; grantees must be U.S. citizens, have lived in Georgia for at least 12 months, and exhausted all other sources of funding for their injuries.
Support victims of traumatic brain and spinal injuries by voting yes to proposed Amendment 2 which would allow fees and penalties from reckless driving offenders to be added to the Brain and Spinal Trust Fund. For additional information on Amendment 2 and the Trust Fund, visit the Brain Injury Association of Georgia.