CHICAGO — As the troubling trend of expressway shootings continues to confound law enforcement and the public, experts are trying to better understand how and why these high-speed shootings occur.
This week, the Illinois State Police unveiled the most comprehensive plan yet, funding new technology aimed at deterring the shootings and catching the perpetrators.
The public is left with many questions on why expressway shootings have drastically increased in recent years.
Alma Hill, whose sister was shot to death while traveling on I-57 in 2019, was a driving force behind a state law to create a digital dashboard and fund license plate reading cameras on Illinois expressways.
State Representative Thaddeus Jones was the lead sponsor of the bill.
“This technology – the dashboard, allows the state police first-hand knowledge of where these shootings are occurring, so it speeds up the time to catch the car,” Jones said.
On the dashboard, authorities are collecting and displaying data, showing specifics of each expressway shooting, with dates, deaths, locations and injuries displayed.
The real-time information combined with the cameras has led to two quick arrests in expressway shootings thus far in 2022.
“The state police pointed to January 12 and January 13, where we caught two people who shot on the expressway and now, they’re in custody,” Jones said.
There have been 99 new cameras installed along state expressways, with officials promising 200 more to be up and running within the next year.