Large vehicles might have to drive a bit slower on Louisiana interstates. One Baton Rouge lawmaker wants school buses and trucks to drive slower than other cars. Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, filed a new bill in 2017 that advocated for a slower speed limit for large vehicles.
The bill would force large vehicles to drive ten mph slower than the posted speed limit, meaning that trailers, school buses, semi-trailers, and truck-tractors would have to slow down. According to Carter, this change would help reduce traffic accidents.
New Truck and Bus Laws
Currently, the bill hasn’t been voted on. Each side is trying to gather safety statistics to gauge whether this rule would be right for Louisiana residents. While Carter’s office works to support the bill, other lawmakers are working against it. Some of the bill’s opponents believe that slowing down large vehicles would cause more issues. It would also cost the extra state money to update speed-limit signs.
Other states have already adopted similar laws. Six states have different rules for large vehicles, including Indiana, California, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Michigan.
Right now, all cars in Louisiana have to follow a speed limit of 75 miles per hour on rural interstates. They can go 70 miles per hour on limited access roads and urban interstates. High speeds and heavy vehicles often cause accidents with a costly amount of damage.
Should Trucks and Buses Drive Slow?
About two percent of accidents in 2016 involved large vehicles. While these vehicles were a tiny portion of car crashes, they made up five percent of the fatalities. In 2016, 7,40 tractors, school buses, semi-trailers, and trailers were involved in wrecks across Louisiana.
To support the bill, Carter is going to analyze data from 2003 in the Atchafalaya River Basin. This area previously lowered the speed limit for trucks by 5 miles per hour and made them drive in the right-most lane. In a 2012 study by Louisiana State University, this stretch of road saw a decline in truck accidents following the change.
However, the arguments are that the speed limit may not have had the intended effect because many truck drivers ignored the different speed limits. The authors of the study said that similar changes in other states had produced mixed results, so the data is not conclusive.
Whether or not this bill passes in Louisiana, motor vehicle collisions are unfortunately still bound to happen. Hiring an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney after an accident can be very beneficial toward documenting your claim and personally building your case.
The attorneys at E. Orum Young have over 35 years of experience assisting victims of motor vehicle accidents in receiving the compensation they deserve. Contact us today at (318) 303-4194 for a free case evaluation. Our Trial Guarantee ensures that we will take your case to trial per your request.