Villivalam backs expansion of highway cameras to tackle violence on the roads


CHICAGO — With carjackings and shootings on Illinois highways on the rise, State Sen. Ram Villivalam has backed two new laws to help law enforcement crack down on these crimes.

“Commuters deserve to know they’re safe when using any of Illinois’ 15,969 miles of freeways,” said Villivam (D-Chicago), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “Enabling law enforcement to coordinate and deal with these crimes is the first step to protecting drivers.”

House Bill 260 extends highway camera law to Lake Shore Drive and allows municipal law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over Cook County highways to access camera footage to investigate carjackings, gun violence and other offences. Law enforcement agencies that use freeway cameras are required to create a website with details of the freeway camera program, provide training to officers who access camera images and footage, and publish an annual report to the General Assembly.

House Bill 4481 further expands the highway camera law to include state highways in several counties across the state. To meet potential demand for new cameras, the new law expands the revenue available for the program to include funds from the Illinois Tollway Authority, in addition to current funding available from the Department of Transportation.

Both measures were signed into law on Friday and take effect immediately.


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