LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – History has shown that speeding on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge on I-10 can cause accidents that can be fatal, and tie up traffic for hours. State legislators will soon consider a bill that would attempt to make the bridge safer.

Senate Bill 435 is aimed at making the bridge safer, by cracking down on speeding. The bill calls for doubling speeding fines, instead of increasing five fold, as written in the original version of the bill.

“We designated it a ‘Highway Safety Corridor’,” said Sen. Page Cortez (R), of Lafayette. “Many of these throughout the country exist. They exist because of the amount of fatalities and accidents in that certain strip of highway.

Cortez says statistics show there were 269 accidents on the 18 mile span in 2021. Two people were killed. 89 people were injured. He says that’s a big increase compared to 10 years ago.

“If you speed, going 80 to 90 miles per hours, then see on the Waze app the police are 200 to 300 yards up, and you slow down to 60 right past, then you speed back up to 80, you’re putting other people in jeopardy, and never receiving a consequence for having done so,” said Cortez.

According to Cortez, there’s a unique way the state would monitor and enforce your speed on the bridge, and send you a citation if you’re going too fast. The speed limits are 60 miles per hour for cars, and 55 for trucks. If you travel in a car from one end of the bridge to the other, and maintain the speed limit, it would take 18 minutes. Cameras would be placed at several points along the bridge to read your license plate, and keep track of your time, not your speed. If you make it to the end of the bridge in less than 18 minutes, you would be considered a speeder, and you would get a citation in the mail.

“The reason for the cameras, today’s technology can recognize the car as it enters the corridor. If there’s an exit, Butte La Rose or Whiskey Bay, they know exactly how many minutes it takes to be going a certain speed. If you go in a shorter amount of time, you’re speeding,” said Cortez.

The bill also calls for adding more signage to alert drivers that fines are doubled, and to encourage trucks to stay in the right lane.

The bill is in the Senate Highways Committee.

Click here to read the amended version of SB 435

Click here to read the supplement for SB 435

Click here to read the SB 435 fiscal note