SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In response to a tragic shooting on an expressway in February, state Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, passed legislation to prevent gun violence from threatening drivers on highways.
“Right now, our expressways are not monitored enough, and that creates a blind spot for law enforcement,” Jones said. “Tamara Clayton lost her life because the offenders thought they could get away with their crimes. This legislation is a big step toward preventing further deaths like Tamara’s. I thank Governor Pritzker for joining me in combatting this problem.”
Jones passed House Bill 331, or the Expressway Camera Act, requires the Illinois State Police, Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Toll Highway Authority to conduct a program to increase the amount of cameras along Cook County expressways. The images captured by the cameras will be used to investigate and study gun crimes on highways, aiming to crack down on future offenses. Jones’ law was prompted by the shooting of Tamara Clayton, an innocent woman driving on the I-57 to her job as a mail carrier for the post office. This came on the heels of three non-fatal shootings on the same stretch of the I-57 earlier that day. Gov. Pritzker signed the bill into law.
Chicago expressways cumulatively have already seen 19 shootings this year, an average figure for the area. Experts have indicated that shootings are so common because criminals assume, often correctly, it’s a space where they can get away with breaking the law. More highway cameras will likely make a significant impact.
“Gun violence interferes with daily life in so many ways, we need legislation to address it in every form,” Jones said. “Keeping our highways safe is just one part of the solution we need. I have pledged to build a stronger Illinois, and that can’t happen when lives are at-risk. For Illinoisans to take advantage of the opportunities I’m working towards giving them, bills like this are crucial.”
Visit Rep. Thaddeus Jones’ website
241-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-6433 FAX
15525 South Park Ave.
South Holland, IL 60473
(708) 933-6284 FAX