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Alabama traffic tickets may help fund spinal cord injury research

Have you heard the saying "Make lemons out of lemonade?" It's about getting something potentially positive out of a negative situation. There's no doubt that speeding and reckless driving are negative situations in Alabama. Irresponsible driving leads to car accidents and serious injuries all too often.

Some of the most serious of injuries that a car accident victim can sustain are brain or spinal cord injuries. A legislative proposal in Alabama aims to find a cure and more effective treatment for spinal cord injuries. The money that's needed to research such injury treatments would be raised partly through traffic tickets.

The Birmingham News reports that a bill has passed through the Alabama Senate that would add on some extra cost to Alabama traffic tickets. A speeding ticket, for example, would cost an offender an extra $1; a reckless driving ticket would cost an extra $5; a DUI citation would cost an extra $10. The extra money that would be raised due to drivers' unsafe behaviors would serve as means to treat the catastrophic consequences that often result from such behaviors.

A spinal cord injury severely changes a person's life and the life of their friends and family. While stopping irresponsible driving and, therefore, preventing catastrophic accidents from happening would be the ideal circumstance, the next best circumstance is finding better ways to treat or even cure a spinal cord injury.

The bill is called the T.J. Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Act because it was inspired by a car accident victim from Alabama who was paralyzed in a 2010 wreck. If passed, the bill would help people like him gain more hope that their injuries could improve one day.

Source: The Birmingham News, "Bill in Alabama Legislature would bring spinal cord research money to UAB," Hannah Wolfson, March 28, 2012

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