Louisiana Legislature Rejects Big Rig Safety Proposal
As everyone who has ever driven on I-10 knows, the biggest and most dangerous vehicles on the road are 18-wheelers. Some regular readers of our Lake Charles legal blog will undoubtedly recall a recent effort by a Louisiana legislator to slow tractor-trailers and other plus-sized vehicles down.
The Times-Picayune reports that the bill to lower the speed limit by 10 mph on all interstate highways for big rigs, school buses, truck-tractors and other large vehicles did not make it to the governor’s desk in the recently concluded legislative session. Rep. Steve Carter said the goal of his proposal had been to reduce the risk of truck accidents and the injuries and deaths in those crashes.
The bill was submitted to the House in April, the newspaper reports, and then underwent changes in May.
While speaking to the House Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee, Carter offered an amendment that would have called for the lowered speeds only on elevated interstate highways of at least five miles in length.
According to a news report, Carter was not clear on how many miles of Louisiana road might be affected by his proposal. Speculation at the meeting was that large vehicles on the Bonnet Carre Spillway, the Atchafalaya River Basin and the elevated portion of I-55 would be affected.
We do not know if Carter’s proposal will be revived in the next legislative session, but we do know that wrecks involving 18-wheelers are often the most destructive on our roads.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says on its website that the trend in large-truck crashes is headed in the wrong direction. The number of fatal truck wrecks across the nation has surged 26 percent since 2009.
For those who lose a loved one in a big rig crash, the pursuit of justice can begin with a conversation with a Lake Charles truck accident lawyer.