by Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times
June 4, 2022
SPRINGFIELD, IL — Governor J. B. Pritzker signed two pieces of legislation on Friday that expand the use of expressway cameras for law enforcement agencies to investigate criminal activities along expressways and State highways. This legislation is effective immediately.
“There is nothing more important than keeping Illinoisans safe—in our schools, in our parks, and on our expressways. The tragic incidences of gun violence on our highways requires aggressive and intentional action. By signing this bill, law enforcement agencies will have the tools to respond to criminal activity in a timely and efficient manner—ensuring the safety and security of our residents, while holding perpetrators accountable.” Pritzker said in a statement.
“Automated license plate readers play a growing, critical role in ISP investigations and arrests in the Chicagoland area. ISP now routinely uses this technology to track down expressway shootings and carjacking suspects, so the expansion of this technology across Illinois expands our ability to protect our interstates and bring violent criminals to justice.” ,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.
According to a press release “The Illinois State Police (ISP), working with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Chicago Department of Transportation, has installed more than 150 Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) on Chicago expressways with plans to install approximately 150 more throughout the summer. These ALPRs cover the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94), I-90, I-290, I-55, and I-57.”
As of June 2022, there have been 69 expressway shootings reported on expressways in Cook County. During June of 2021 there were a total of 90 expressway shootings which included 45 shootings resulting in injuries and eight fatalities. Earlier this month, Pritzker signed laws strengthening the Violent Crime Witness Protection Act, which is hoped to combat carjackings and vehicle thefts.