BATON ROUGE, La. (KPEL News) - Two years after its passage, a law mandating speed cameras on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is facing repeal.

Senate Bill 379, which was put forward by Sen. Blake Miguez (R-New Iberia) and Sen. Caleb Kleinpeter (R-Port Allen) on behalf of the sheriffs, district attorneys, and citizens of Iberville and St. Martin parishes, cleared a legislative hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate Transportation, Highway and Public Works Committee voted unanimously to pass it.

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The law is moving through the legislature at the same time as the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is working to install the cameras and radar detectors along the bridge.


READ MORE: Radar Detectors/Cameras to be Installed on I-10 Basin Bridge

However, the new bill could make its way to Governor Jeff Landry's desk and be signed into law before that work is done, ending the prospect of more traffic fines for those traveling across the bridge.

The new bill would allow the work that has been (Phase 1) done and is currently being done (Phase 2) to stay, but the third phase of the project would be repealed.

Instead, SB 379 would prevent the majority of the money from citations from going to the company that installed and maintained the cameras, and instead redirect it to local parish governments and law enforcement agencies. Local law enforcement groups have asked that the state allow them to patrol the long stretch of bridge, rather than let cameras do the work.

Vlad Krylof via YouTube
Vlad Krylof via YouTube

“This is very different than how the funds flow with a normal citation where those dollars go to things like our criminal court, our district attorneys, our sheriffs, our clerks, our crime labs,” Miguez explained. “The last thing we need to do is make sure that these funds go towards a private entity and not straight to our locals.”

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is known to be a traffic trap if there is a major accident. Sometimes, traffic can be at a standstill for hours. Safety measures like the camera are meant to deter motorists from driving at unsafe speeds, but several critics of the law passed in 2022 pointed out that not only is law enforcement more effective, but traffic stops by actual police can sometimes lead to other arrests.

Particularly where drug trafficking is involved.

South Louisiana's Most Infamous Speed Traps

Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells


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