Bill would make large trucks slow down

Wynton Yates talks about a proposed law that calls for truck drivers to slow down.

NEW ORLEANS - Soon there could be a new law pumping the brakes on how fast 18-wheelers and other oversized vehicles can drive on Louisiana state highways.

“I think the speed limit is already low enough for the truckers” said truck driver Louis Dutrel.

State representative Stephen Carter recently filed a bill that would require 18-wheelers to drive 10 miles under the posted speed limit on State highways.

Rep. Stephen Carter explained “A lot of times, particularly in Baton Rouge, with 10 and 12 they have an awful lot of trucks that come through and it seems like a lot of times that they have accidents that snarl up the interstates, 18-wheelers are involved quite often.”

Less than a week ago there was a fiery accident that left one woman dead and another man badly burned after an 18-wheeler rear ended a dump truck on I-310.

Carter said “I know truckers have a job to do and I appreciate what they do but I’m just trying from a safety stand point to minimize the number of accidents that occur on our major highways.”

A lot of the truck drivers we spoke to tell us that it’s not the speed that they see causing the accidents. It’s driver’s not paying attention to what’s going on around them.

“I’m passing up all these cars, everyone is on their phone. Ninety percent of them are on their phone. They're on Facebook, they're all texting, they're all talking on their phone and it’s inattentive and that’s how mistakes happen” said Dutrel.

Robert Leblanc has been driving big rigs for more than 20 years and says he always drives under the speed limit but making trucks drive even slower, he thinks would be even more dangerous.

“Most of the fatalities coming now are from rear ends. If a car goes 15 or 20 miles an hour faster than a truck and goes underneath a truck, it’s death” said Leblanc.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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