Aug. 23, 2021
August 23, 2021, marked the 158th Chicago expressway shooting this year. Expressway shootings have skyrocketed in comparison to previous years; with 128 shootings reported in 2020 and only 52 in 2019. Of the 158 shootings in 2021, only 10 arrests have been made. Illinois State Police announced the installation of new specialized cameras on Chicago expressways as a tool to help detect and deter expressway shootings. Illinois State Police received a $12.5 million grant funded through the Tamara Clayton Expressway Camera Act. Tamara Clayton was a postal worker on her way to work when she was fatally shot on I-57 in 2019.
These are frightening numbers and it is obvious that something needs to be done to protect Illinois motorists. The Law Offices of David Guy Stevens will support reasonable and legal efforts to make Illinois a safer place to live and travel through. Having said this, I however cannot ignore the obvious legal questions these actions raise: What are the specific parameters and uses of this technology? And what might this same technology be used for in the future?
One foreseeable use would be checking each plate to see if the registered owners has a valid license, or insurance, or registration. It could also alert strategically positioned State Troopers ready to follow and pull over those drivers? As of now the State is claiming, “No.” According to the attached article, this program will only be used for the specific purpose of trying to prevent shootings and to catch the perpetrators.
It is this attorney’s opinion that it is only a matter of time until these and other possible applications of this technology will be utilized and, like instant replay in sports, it will become harder and harder to get away with breaking the ‘rules’.