Louisiana Measure Would Undo Atchafalaya Bridge Speed Cameras

BATON ROUGE (The Center Square) — Only two years after the passage of a bill that put speed cameras on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, the Louisiana Senate unanimously passed a bill this week to shut them down.

Senators voted 38-0 on Tuesday, sending the legislation to the House of Representatives where the Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works next takes it up.

The cameras were part of a bill passed in 2022 to regulate speeding on the Interstate 10 bridge over the third-longest bridge in the U.S. The law also doubled fines for speeding in a highway safety corridor and restricts trucks to the right lane. Revenues from the fines generated by the speed cameras go to maintain the cameras and the rest would be distributed to Iberville and St. Martin parishes. 

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Sen. Blake Miguez, R-New Iberia, was grateful for the bill’s passage, which occurred without debate.

“Thank you to my Senate colleagues for their unanimous support of #SB379 which prioritizes safety and police presence over revenue generation from speed cameras,” Miguez wrote on social media. “Real safety involves human judgment, not automated penalties in the mail weeks later.”

Last month, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development had already begun the process of installing the cameras and signage on the 18-mile bridge. The agency says in a news release that the work, which will cost taxpayers more than $591,000, will be complete by June.

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If SB379 doesn’t become law – if it does, it would go into effect on Aug. 1 – citations from the cameras will begin to be issued once they go online. 

Speed cameras are the third phase of the project. The initial phase involved the installation of additional signage, with the second phase consisting of “your speed” feedback signs that show a motorist their speed. 

By Steve Wilson for the Center Square

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