Speed cameras coming soon to track drivers along the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge

basin bridge
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 10:42 PM CDT
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IBERVILLE PARISH La. (WAFB) - A new law that allows cameras to monitor your speed on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge will go into effect next month.

“20 fatalities in less than 7 years on that bridge on that 18-mile stretch,” Rodney Mallet said.

In June, Governor John Bel Edwards signed SB435 into law. This will allow DOTD to install cameras along the bridge to clock how fast it takes drivers to get from the end of the basin to the other.

Since the bridge is 18 miles long, and the speed limit is 60 miles per hour, DOTD officials say it should take you exactly 18 minutes to cross.

Under the new law, if you cross the bridge in less than 18 minutes, you will get a ticket in the mail. Repeat offenders could face a fine of up to $1000.

“A law-abiding person whose driving 60 miles an hour, and somebody else comes by going about 75 or 80, there’s going to be a lot of weaving in and out, and that’s where the danger comes in,” Mallet said.

The law goes into effect on August 1, but DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallet said it will take some time before the cameras go up. Mallet said the goal is to have the cameras and traffic signs up within the next year.

“So, if we can control that speed differential, if we can get it to where people are driving about the same speed, we’re going to have less of that weaving action, and it’ll cut back on the number of crashes and fatalities we’ve seen on that bridge,” Mallet said.

Several drivers took to social media to share concerns about the new system.

“I never even considered how long it took me to get over the bridge as a safety concern or issue,” Tramelle Howard said.

Howard claims it took him just over 16 minutes at around the speed limit to cross the bridge Friday.

“At this point, I don’t see what this will solve. I don’t see how this will be a long-term solution to a major traffic problem,” Howard said.

Mallet reassured us that this would help with issues around traffic, and will save lives.

“Saving those few minutes might save somebody’s life,” Mallet said.

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