Drivers commuting from Lafayette to Baton Rouge or vice versa will hopefully be a little safer, starting August 2022. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) will be installing speed cameras on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge—the “new bridge” on I-10—hopefully within the year.
Governor John Bel Edwards signed the bill, SB435, into law in June. Advocates for the law cited the fact that over the past 7 years, 20 people had died on the bridge, which is only 18 miles long. In 2021 alone, that stretch through Iberville and St. Martin Parishes saw 260 crashes and two deaths.
What does this mean for you? If you drive this stretch of highway, stick to the speed limit. If you’re involved in an accident on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, you could have stronger evidence to hold the responsible party accountable.
How Act 426 Makes the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge Safer
The law, also called Act 426, primarily adds cameras to the beginning and end of the bridge, which is 18 miles from end to end. Since the speed limit is 60 mph for the entire length of the bridge, it should take drivers at least 18 minutes to travel from end to end.
If the cameras take a picture of the same car at opposite ends less than 18 minutes apart, the driver must have been speeding. DOTD will then send the driver a ticket in the mail, with repeat offenses increasing in price up to $1000.
The law also designates the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge as a “highway safety corridor,” as well as adds signage notifying drivers of that designation. A highway safety corridor designation doubles fines for traffic violations on the bridge.
Finally, the law requires the installation of 8 sets of speed limit signs, 6 sets of signs that restrict trucks to the right lane only, and of course, the aforementioned speed cameras.
Why Is the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge so Dangerous?
The 18 miles of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, also known as the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, has almost no shoulder, narrow lanes, and only two exits—one for Whiskey Bay, and one for Butte La Rose.
Due to these qualities, as well as the fact that the bridge gets about 30,420 vehicles daily, it’s no wonder that accidents tend to happen on the bridge. When they do happen, traffic can become even worse as the crash can block the entire roadway, causing first responders to struggle to help the victims and clear the wreckage. In turn, these delays can lead to further wrecks and more serious injuries.
What to Do If You’ve Been in an Accident on the Basin Bridge
The most common causes of accidents on the Basin Bridge are 18-wheelers violating lane restrictions, aggressive driving including speeding, high traffic volume, distracted and impaired driving, repair work, and tailgating.
If you’ve been involved in one of these or another accident on the I-10 bridge, you could be dealing with increasing medical bills, an inability to work, and massive amounts of pain and suffering. You deserve answers for these and the other problems that have been caused due to the other driver’s negligence, and you need a car accident lawyer to help you find the compensation you need.
Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are experienced injury lawyers who’ve practiced law in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Acadiana for decades. We have the knowledge, the connections, and the skill to help you get the best judgment possible for your injuries.
Give us a call at 888.501.7888 for a free, no-risk legal consultation. A Get Gordon lawyer will talk to you about what happened and offer advice on your next steps.