I often wonder why so many people disregard signage, road markings and construction limitations. These various signs indicate for all motorists the restrictions that are to be followed when driving.
For anyone who has ever worked in a construction zone, the feeling of a vehicle roaring past your body at a high speed can be unnerving to say the least. These people working are human and deserve for us to be respectful of their lives on the line while they are doing their daily job. Let’s take this a step farther… all speed limits and highway markings are put in place for a “REASON.” Much research has gone into the study of our highways and bridges in order to determine a specific speed or lane requirement for the purpose of safety, traffic flow and in some cases air quality.
One area of question for me is along my regular route of driving on the I-10 Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. The Bridge is a 20 mile long stretch across the Atchafalaya Swamp. It’s not exactly 20 miles and depending on where you read about this bridge, you will find figures from 17.7 to 20 miles long. Let’s use 20 miles for the following figures. The speed used to be 70 mph for all vehicles traveling across the bridge. At 70 mph it would take 16.8 minutes to cross the bridge. After a fatal crash, the speed was reduced for all vehicles to 60 mph. At this speed it would take 19.8 minutes to cross the bridge. After another crash years later, the speed limit was reduced to 55 mph for large trucks along with a right lane restriction. At this speed, it would take 21.8 minutes. From the 70 mph to the 55 mph, we have just 5 minutes difference.
Below, I have included two links in relation to the speed adjustments made on the I-10 stretch of the Atchafalaya Swamp Bridge. The question would be… is the gain in time worth risking your CDL or the safety of others to gain that extra five minutes?
Louisiana Traffic Study
Truckers have a unfair advantage