Around Acadiana

Apr 18, 2011 7:19 PM by Chris Welty

Speed Limit Increases on Portions of I-49

Starting today, drivers along rural sections of I-49 will be able to press the gas a little harder.

For twelve years, Tom Rutherford has been traveling the roads in his big rig. Many of those trips along I-49 near Ville-Platte northward to Shreveport.

"If the speed limit is 75, your cars and pick-ups, and other traffic is going to be pushing the speed limit of course," says Tom Rutherford.

Troopers say that although you may see the increased speed limit sign in the distance, you cannot increase your speed until you have passed the sign, and if you do than you risk getting a ticket.

Trooper Stephen Hammons says, "It is illegal to travel even one MPH over the speed limit, and that does constitute speeding, so keep that in mind."

Rutherford says for many truckers if you get one ticket, you could lose your job, and "there's not many outlaw truckers left out there today."

Rutherford says for big rigs, the speed increase will not help them reach their destinations any faster. "I know our company they are governed at 62 MPH and most companies are governed back to 65, 68 MPH and that's for safety reasons and also fuel mileage, that's a big deal today."

Ron Bertinot, Department of Transportation Engineer says they have conducted several studies and 85 percent of drivers were traveling at or below 74 miles per hour. "We expect motorists to travel at the same speed. it's just the speed limit will more reflect what the traveling public felt safe traveling at."

The speed through cities like Alexandria and Shreveport will remain at 60 MPH.

cwelty@katctv.com

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