A Louisiana lawmaker recently introduced a bill to use cameras to enforce the speed limit on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in an effort to cut down on dangerous crashes.
Louisiana Senate President Page Cortez recently authored Senate Bill 435 to establish the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge carrying I-10 as a “highway safety corridor.”
According to New Orleans City Business, 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.
The bill would require transportation officials to install “camera safety devices” on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge to enforce the speed limit on the bridge.
The bill initially called for a five times increase of current speeding fines, but an amendment to the bill reduced this amount to two times.
The current fine for a first time speeding offense is $175 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. The current fine for a subsequent speed violation is a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days or both.
The bill 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.”
SB 435 has cleared the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Work.
A major crash occurred on the bridge on March 22, 2022.