Illinois Highway Cameras May Soon Be Scanning Your Plates
If you've ever pondered the many ways that you're being kept track of by various players on the internet (think targeted advertising based upon the websites you visit and the things you search for), you may soon have to add another, non-internet tracker.
Illinois governor JB Pritzker has said that he wants to expand surveillance technology as a way of helping police solve crimes like the highway shootings that have plagued Illinois over recent years, and that expansion, in the form of plate-reading highway cameras, may take place in the very near future.
In 2021, The Illinois State Police (ISP) Got A $12.5 Million Grant To Purchase Cameras For The Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) Project
The grant came as part of the Tamara Clayton Expressway Act (Expressway Camera Act), named for the woman who was shot and killed while driving on I-57 near Cicero Avenue while on her way to work in February of 2019.
Since last year, the ongoing plan has been to add at least 200 cameras to Chicago area expressways over the course of one year. Eventually, many of Illinois' highways could be covered.
As You Might Imagine, Not Everyone Is In Favor Of More Surveillance Technology
TransparencyChicago.org, in a blog post, had this to say about some research they've done on the ALPR project:
Transparency Chicago obtained ALPR detection and hit data from 20 agencies. Together, these agencies recorded over 414 million license plate detections in 2020. However, only a small fraction of these detections, 0.22%, were vehicles of interest to law enforcement. Not surprisingly, the state’s largest police department and most prolific surveillance user, the Chicago Police Department recorded the largest number of detections at over 275 million. Elmhurst and Loves Park were next in line with approximately 50 million and 26 million detections respectively.