Louisiana lawmakers signed into law a bill meant to cut down on speeding on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in order to reduce the number of crashes.
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 law goes into effect August 1, 2022.
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.
The new law will also require transportation officials to install “camera safety devices” on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge to enforce the speed limit on the bridge.
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.”
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.
A major crash occurred on the bridge on March 22, 2022.