LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – We are learning more about the new law on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge and putting it to a test.

As more and more crashes happen on the bridge, lawmakers are doing something they hope will reduce that number.

“We’ve created a highway safety corridor for the 18-mile stretch known as the Atchafalaya Basin,” DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson said.

The safety corridor designation allows traffic fines to be doubled on the bridge when the law went into effect August 1.

While the cameras won’t be installed until late 2023, signs are being put up so if you’re caught speeding, you will pay.

“It is important to remember that officers in Iberville and St. Martin Parish and Louisiana State Police will still have the authority to patrol and those fines will also be doubled” Wilson said.

Several of the locals and visitors we spoke to at the new Tiger truck stop in Grosse Tete had no idea the law passed, but they hope it works.

“Over the years since I’ve been in this area I saw a lot and heard of a lot of fatalities on that bridge” Frank Wilson a heavy haul operator from Marriguin says.

Danny Howze from Walker Louisiana says of the nearly 80,000 people who use the bridge daily, people familiar with the area ‘should’ be the ones who obey the new law.

“I think the people that live here know what happens on that bridge when it’s shut down.  It scares me to be stuck on it overnight or any amount of time.”

Vehicles can go as fast as 60 miles per hour while large trucks can go 55mph.

Lawmakers say traveling at 60 for roughly 18 miles should take about 18 minutes from beginning to end.

My photographer Logan is recording the time for us and has the stopwatch rolling and our speedometer is locked in cruise control at 60mph.

We are just going to chill, enjoy the ride and test it out to see how long it takes us to get across.

Around 10 minutes in we reached 10 miles which puts us right at the Whiskey Bay exit, however the entire time drivers sped by us going over the speed limit.

As we got off the bridge we clocked in a distance just at 18 miles.

It took us 17 minutes and 56 seconds so about four seconds below the 18-minute time frame.

Will that get us a ticket is the question now.

“We’re not concerned about someone who is going 17 1/2 or 17 minutes, it’s the 15 minute driver who is causing some of the major concerns, they are the ones doing in excess of 85 to 90 mph,” Secretary Wilson said.

I have to tell you, the wheels and tires on our car were all factory. Things like larger tires, or wheels, even lift kits could cause your speedometer to read slower than your actual speed.

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