SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Emphasizing public safety and the need to keep roads clear for first responders, state Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, is supporting a plan that would strengthen penalties on protestors who block busy roads and prevent the passage of emergency vehicles.

“There’s no question that people have a right to protest and have their voice heard, but they can’t do so in a way that recklessly endangers others,” DeLuca said. “Blocking major roads – especially with no advance notice – is not just inconvenient for residents trying to get to work or school, it also creates traffic jams that make it difficult for first responders and ambulances to reach people in need.”

The DeLuca-backed House Bill 5819 notes that the obstruction of police, firefighters and ambulance personnel on highways endangers the health, welfare and safety of the public. Under the proposal, if an individual blocks an exceptionally busy public right-of-way for more than five minutes in a way that would prevent the passage of first responders, they would be subject to a Class 4 felony. Exceptionally busy right-of-ways are roads defined as having at least 24,000 separate vehicle movements in a 24-hour period.

House Bill 5819 comes in the wake of disruptive protests on the Kennedy Expressway near O’Hare Airport, blocking traffic and causing substantial delays for travelers.

For more information, please contact RepDeLuca@SBCGlobal.net.

Rep. Anthony DeLucaRep. Anthony DeLuca

(D-Chicago Heights)
80th District
Visit Rep DeLuca’s website

Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706
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District Office:
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Chicago Heights, IL  60411
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