The first bill signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker increases the number of cameras along state roads.
Cook County was the only county authorized to place cameras along roads.
Previously HB4481, the new law expanded the camera program to 21 more counties. The authorization is effective immediately.
The state budget for fiscal year 2023 included $20 million for expanded technology.
The governor says the safety of Illinois residents is the state’s top priority.
The governor’s office says that as of June 2, 2022, 69 highway shootings have been reported in the Cook County Highway District. The number includes 32 shootings, with wounded and one death.
During the same period in 2021, there were 90 shooting incidents on the highway, including 45 shootings that resulted in injuries and eight deaths.
“The tragic incidents of gun violence on our highways require aggressive and deliberate action,” Pritzker said in a news release. “By signing this law, law enforcement agencies will have the tools to respond to criminal activity in a timely and effective manner — ensuring the safety and security of our residents, while holding perpetrators accountable.”
Focus on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago
Another new law now in effect allows highway cameras to be used along Chicago’s DuSable Lake Shore Drive.
Previously HB260, the new law gives law enforcement agencies the authority to use images from highway cameras to investigate vehicle hijackings and other criminal activities. The governor’s office says the cameras will also be used to detect highway conditions and facilitate accident management and highway safety services.
Representative Ann Williams, D-Chicago, said it’s important to make sure law enforcement has the right tools to keep communities safe and hold violent perpetrators to account.
“This bill, which expands the use of camera technology on our roads, including DuSable Lake Shore Drive, will allow for more effective policing while protecting privacy concerns and civil liberties,” Williams stated.
License plate readers
The governor’s office reports that the Illinois State Police, working with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Department of Transportation, has installed more than 150 license plate readers on Chicago highways with plans to install about 150 more over the summer.
License plate readers cover Dan Ryan Highway and Highways 90, 290, 55 and 57. LL