No speed cameras on Atchafalaya bridge yet, but fines still double
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The speed tracking cameras that will be placed at the eastbound and westbound entrances and exits on the I-10 Atchafalaya Basin bridge will not be up and running until the end of next year or the beginning of 2024, officials say.
However, if you’re pulled over today for speeding on the bridge, your fine will be doubled because of the new law aimed at slowing down speeders. Depending on how fast you’re driving, you may get slapped with a $350 dollar ticket.
The new speeding laws on the bridge went into effect Monday.
After speaking with officials, we now have a clearer picture of what you should expect on Louisiana’s new interstate “Safety Corridor.”
Deidra Druilhet, with the State Department of Transportation, explains there’s a myriad of things that need to be addressed before moving forward with the electronic enforcement.
“There’s quite a lot of work that needs to take place before this operation is fully functional,” Druilhet said.
Over the next six to nine months, at least a half-dozen radar detection signs, letting drivers know their speed, will be placed along the elevated corridor.
The electronic enforcement coming from the toll-like cameras will be an additional monitoring measure from law enforcement on the ground.
Shawn Wilson, secretary of the State Department of Transportation, says drivers should not cross the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in less than 18 minutes.
“So, if you get off in 18 minutes, no problem, if you get off in 17 minutes, no problem, if you get off in 14 minutes or 13 minutes, you have excessively gone above the speed limit,” Wilson said.
For first and second violations, drivers would receive warning notices; however, they’ll have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for a third violation.
Wilson explains that the fines collected will fund operations.
“We do expect to get reimbursed for operations, both capital and daily operations, out of the fines, after which 100 percent of that remainder will go equally to St. Martin parish and Iberville Parish,” Wilson said.
As for how much the cameras will cost?
“We do not have that price yet because we have not procured them,” Wilson said.
Regardless of the process, some lawmakers tell 7 News they’re receiving complaints from constituents who don’t like the idea of being monitored on camera.
Meanwhile, Wilson tells 7 News he doesn’t expect any state official to be exempt from the speeding laws, unless it’s a first responder or law enforcement officer responding to an emergency call.
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