hastings 050922SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has new laws on the books to combat car hijackings, thanks to the support of State Senator Michael E. Hastings.

Hastings (D-Frankfort) supported three bipartisan measures that were signed into law on Thursday that implement a multifaceted approach to fight this nationwide epidemic.

“The people across the South Suburbs deserve the right to live safely and securely without the fear of carjackings and violence on their way home from work or picking up their kids,” Hastings said. “These horrific crimes change people’s lives in a big way. These new laws will help combat this crisis and alleviate some of the financial and emotional stresses.”

The following measures were signed into law:

House Bill 3772 provides protections for victims of carjackings who receive red light or speed camera violations after their vehicle has been hijacked. Under the new law, if a person receives a citation due to one of these camera violations, the court or hearing officer will be able to consider whether the vehicle was hijacked before the violation occurred or if the victim was not in control of or possession of the vehicle at the time of violation. 

House Bill 3699 will allow Metropolitan Enforcement Groups, or cooperatives of law enforcement, to work together to target carjackings. Further, it will allow the Metropolitan Enforcement Groups to receive state grants to assist in enforcement, and provide additional resources to law enforcement to target and capture these offenders.

House Bill 601 modernizes the definition of the possession of burglary tools offense to include devices designed to unlock or start a vehicle without a key and devices designed to capture or duplicate a signal from a key fob.

According to a January report from CNN, cities around the country have seen an increase in the rate of carjackings in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,800 carjackings were reported in Chicago last year, according to data released by police departments to CNN.

Hastings believes this is the start to help alleviate this nationwide trend and has taken it a step further by introducing Senate Bill 4205 which would require auto manufacturers to share electronic tracking information with law enforcement agencies in real-time by setting up a 24/7 hot line to facilitate the process.

"It's vital that we have technology to ensure law enforcement officials can track the carjackers that steal cars as they travel from point A from point B," said Hastings. "And we want to make sure that law enforcement officials have all the tools necessary to attack this problem."

He hopes to move forward with this legislation this fall.

House Bill 601, House Bill 3772 and House Bill 3699 go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.