DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson not ready to call for lower speed limit after latest fatal I-10 Atchafalaya Basin Bridge crash
A fiery, deadly crash on the I-10 Atchafalaya Basin Bridge has prompted calls for a new look at speed limits on the highly trafficked stretch.
Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says it’s too early in the process to be proposing changes. He adds we’re still not exactly sure what caused the chain-reaction pileup.
“This was a catastrophic condition where you had hazmat materials and an unknown determinant of the accident.”
Three 18-wheelers were involved in the incident that took the life of 31-year-old Christopher McGee of Florida.
Wilson says the Basin Bridge drive offers a beautiful view, but some unique challenges for traffic, including an ever-increasing number of vehicles.
“The reality is that we are seeing a growing number of vehicles, a growing diversity of vehicles, and increased distraction.”
The crash locked down the passageway used by 55,000 drivers both Monday and Tuesday.
The bridge drops the general speed limit to 60, and 55 for 18-wheelers. Some have suggested further lowering the speed limits for trucks, but Wilson is hesitant to embrace that.
“If you can imagine as a driver, you pull up behind someone that is not going the speed limit, your immediate reaction is to jump out of your lane into another lane, pass them up, and merge back.”
Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Page Cortez says “We have to do better, whatever we are doing is not working with regards to monitoring or speed limits.”