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By Carrie Teegardin, AJC staff writer
Plenty of Atlanta drivers speed through the South Georgia segment of I-75 on the way to Florida’s beaches.
But they might slow down if they knew what some health care workers call that portion of the interstate: “the corridor of death.” The stretch of road earned the name because people who get in car crashes in much of South Georgia are at least 50 miles from a trauma center – a hospital equipped to handle serious injuries.
Georgia voters will decide on Nov. 2 whether they want to add $10 to the cost of annual vehicle registrations to improve trauma services statewide. Hospitals, emergency services workers and public health officials say the $80 million that would be raised every year by passage of Amendment 2 is needed to save lives.
Everyone wants a fast response when they dial 911 for help, but selling the new $10 fee may be difficult. Some metro Atlanta voters believe they are close to well-staffed trauma centers and don’t want to pay more to staff up services in rural Georgia.
The Libertarian Party of Georgia opposes the amendment, saying it would be just the latest tax on Georgians already struggling in a tough economy. The party also said the plan for spending the $80 million is too vague.