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If you make it across the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in under 18 minutes, you may pay double the speeding fine, starting today

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In an effort to cut down on crashes, officials in Louisiana have doubled the fine amount for commercial vehicle drivers and motorists caught speeding on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.

Effective August 1, 2022, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge carrying I-10 is now a “highway safety corridor,” per a recently signed law. As a “highway safety corridor,” the standard fine for speeding of $175 would double to $350 following a one-time warning. Subsequent speeding violations would result in $1000 fines.

Anyone who makes it across the 18 mile long bridge in under 18 minutes would been in violation of the 60 m.p.h. speed limit for passenger vehicles and the 55 m.p.h. speed limit for trucks.

“We will have video cameras on the bridge that will help us determine the time frame from when you got on and off the bridge,” said Rodney Mallett, communications director of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development told WGNO.

While the law takes effect August 1, it isn’t clear exactly when the speed cameras will come online.

“We have a series of things we have to do, and we are required to do, before we can implement the cameras,” Mallet told WBRZ.

Additionally, the new highway safety corridor designation will also require more signage regarding the bridge speed limit, as well as six sets of “Trucks Right Lane Only” signs equally spaced on the eastbound portion of the bridge and six sets of “Trucks Right Lane Only” signs equally spaced on the westbound portion of the bridge.”

On June 15, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law Senate Bill 435 to establish the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge carrying I-10 as a “highway safety corridor.”

The bill was authored by Louisiana Senate President Page Cortez. Cortez travels on the bridge often as part of his commute to Baton Rouge. Cortez told the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works that he often sees semi truck drivers violating the speed limit and ignoring right lane restrictions.

Cortez said that in 2021, there were 269 crashes with two deaths and 89 injuries on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.

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