turner 052722SPRINGFIELD – Drivers across Illinois will benefit from a package of measures that aim to deter future car thefts and hijackings thanks to the support of State Senator Doris Turner.

According to a January report from CNN, cities around the country have seen an increase in the rate of carjackings.

“No one should ever have to fear if their car will be violently taken from them. But unfortunately the sad reality is more and more people are becoming victims of carjackings each day,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “This has to stop. We must do all we can to combat this nationwide epidemic and alleviate the financial and emotional stress these crimes cause.”

House Bill 601 modernizes the definition of the possession of burglary tools offense to include next generation carjacking technology. Car thieves have exploited new technology that can pick up the RFID signal from a key fob at a distance, allowing a victim’s vehicle to be unlocked or stolen even while the fob remains in their home. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Illinois saw a 13% increase in car thefts from 2019-2020.

House Bill 3699 will provide law enforcement with additional resources to coordinate efforts to put a stop to carjackings. Under the legislation, the Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council – made up of representatives from the insurance industry, state’s attorneys and law enforcement – will be tasked with working together to reduce carjackings. The Council currently provides grant funding to three task forces – comprised of law enforcement and state’s attorneys – which investigate and prosecute motor vehicle threat and similar crimes.

House Bill 3772 will provide 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 would be able to consider whether the vehicle was hijacked before the violation occurred or the victim not under the control of or possession of the vehicle at the time of violation. 

“Technology has rapidly advanced in the recent years, and our laws need to advance as well,” Turner said. “These measures do just that. This isn’t just a win for drivers, it’s a win for law enforcement.”

The new laws take effect Jan. 1, 2023.