LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A bill that would increase fines for speeders on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is on the fast track in Louisiana’s legislature.
Governor John Bel Edwards says efforts to crack down on speeding to make traveling across the bridge safe, are long overdue.
Safety is the number one priority of the Senate Bill 435. It’s currently under consideration by state lawmakers. It calls for creating a ‘Highway Safety Corridor’ on bridge.
“If anybody travels across the Atchafayala Basin, it’s become a major safety hazard,” said Sen. Fred Mills, (R) District 22 – New Iberia.
The nuts and bolts of the bill calls for doubling speeding fines, to give drivers enough reason to slow down. The bill also calls for adding more signage to alert drivers of the increase in fines, posting more speed limit signs, and informing truckers to stay in the right lane.
If there’s an accident on the bridge, you can get stuck for hours sometimes. Those accidents can also be fatal.
The Governor says he supports the bill.
“We need people to slow down. We need people to stay in lanes they’re supposed to stay in. We all need to increase our safety,” said Edwards.
How will the state crack down on speeding? The idea is to track a vehicle’s time going from one end of the bridge to the other, rather than use a speed detection device, like a radar gun. The bill also calls for placing several cameras along the bridge to monitor your driving.
“Nobody is going to be caught by surprise. You’re going to have warnings. You need to slow down,” said Edwards.
The bridge is 18 miles long. If you go the speed limit, 60 miles per hour, it would take you approximately 18 minutes to cross. If you make the trip in less than 18 minutes, you would be considered speeding, and you would get a speeding ticket in your mail box.
“We know how long the basin bridge is. We know when you get on the bridge. We know if you got off too quickly, you’re speeding. There’s not going to be a defense,” said Edwards.
The bill is authored by Senate President Page Cortez, of Lafayette. It’s now in the House Transportation Committee.