In June, Governor John Bel Edwards signed SB435 into law, which provided that safety measures, including camera safety devices, will be installed on the Basin Bridge as a measure to reduce safety risks.
The new law went into effect on August 1, 2022 and will be implemented in three phases:
- Phase one began with crews installing “Higher Fines” and “Safety Corridor” signs to warn drivers of the changes. Also, as of August 1, 2022, fines are doubled for those speeding. This means those speeding may face fines as high as $350.
- Phase two will consist of crews placing automated radar feedback signs that display driver’s speed throughout the bridge. This will hopefully help drivers better monitor their speeds.
- Phase three, the final phase, will consist of crews placing cameras that will monitor drivers’ speed. The Department of Transportation and Development determined that since the bridge is 18 miles long, and the speed limit is 60 miles per hour, it should take exactly 18 minutes to cross the bridge. If a motorist crosses the bridge in less than 18 minutes, tickets will be administered through mail. First and second violators will be given a warning notice. However, repeat offenders could face fines of up to $1000.
DOTD expects both the radar feedback signs and speed cameras to be installed by early 2023.
Rodney Mallet, the DOTD Communications Director, says “[I]f 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.”