Chicago highway

CHICAGO – Following the passage of a number of measures championed by members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus to crack down on rising crime on busy roads, the Illinois State Police announced the total number of Chicago expressway shootings is down 36% from this time last year.

“Commuters deserve to know they are safe when they use any of Illinois’ 15,969 miles of highways,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago), chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “Allowing law enforcement to coordinate and address these crimes is the first step to protecting drivers.”

In the first six months of 2021 alone, there were 132 expressway shootings in the Chicago area. A need to keep Illinois drivers safe became more apparent with this rising number of crimes, leading to the proposal of legislation to expand the use of expressway cameras, give law enforcement more tools and technology to solve crime, and expand collaboration among law enforcement agencies.

The 36% reduction in shootings and 90% reduction in expressway homicides comes as the General Assembly passed a law to expand the Expressway Camera Act and provide law enforcement with additional crime-solving tools.

“License plate readers provide law enforcement with a modernized tool to assist in crime-solving,” said State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “These resources will keep our communities safer, identify perpetrators and improve clearance rates.” 

In the Fiscal Year 23 budget, the General Assembly allocated additional funds to hire and train 300 new cadets – the largest yearly amount in history – as well as strengthen forensic services and build new labs to process evidence.

“If we want to prioritize public safety, we need to make sure Illinoisans in all parts of the state have access to the best crime deterring technology—expressway cameras assist the police as they investigate crimes on the road,” said State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

With these laws and additional efforts made by ISP, members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Cacucus are hopeful the decline in expressway shootings will continue.