The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is the portion of I-10 that runs from Lafayette to Baton Rouge. It is one of the longest bridges in the country and is notoriously one of the most dangerous. More than 750 crashes have occurred on the bridge since 2019, with nine people killed. This year alone, there have been 41 car accidents so far, with 13 involving injuries. The narrowness of the lanes and lack of shoulders increase the chances of an accident and make it more difficult for first responders to reach the scene of a crash.
Combating speeding crashes on the bridge
Louisiana lawmakers have tried to improve safety on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge for years. In 1999, the governor lowered the speed limit to 60 miles per hour. Four years later, the state legislature reduced the speed limit for semi trucks to 55 mph and required truckers to stay in the right-hand lane. In the latest effort, a new law that went into effect his summer will increase the price of a speeding ticket by five times.
A first offense for speeding on the bridge used to cost a maximum fine of $175. Now it will cost up to $875. Subsequent speeding ticket fines went up from a maximum of $500 to a fine of up to $2,500. The law also added eight new speed limit signs on the bridge so that everyone will be well aware of how fast they should be driving.
Speeding is dangerous
Hopefully, these changes will reduce speeding on the bridge and prevent severe injuries and deaths. Driving too fast is a reckless, dangerous thing to do because it increases the chances of causing a violent collision.