- Published: Tuesday, April 05, 2022 03:20 PM
SPRINGFIELD – In response to an event that stopped traffic on Eisenhower Expressway, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) lead a measure through the Senate Tuesday that would prohibit a street sideshow on any street or highway that causes traffic to slow or stop.
“People should not be allowed to stop traffic for their own entertainment, especially on a busy, fast expressway,” Munoz said. “Situations like these put residents in unneeded danger. It’s important that we work with law enforcement officials to ensure they are able to protect people in any situation.”
According to a CBS report, Eisenhower Expressway was shut down in December 2021 with drivers blocking the on- and off-ramps and every lane while a group of people engaged in dangerous stunts, such as doing donuts with their cars and dancing on the expressway.
House Bill 5439 defines a street sideshow as any event in which one or more cars block or impede traffic to perform unauthorized motor vehicle stunts, motor vehicle speed contests, or motor vehicle exhibitions of speed. Munoz’ measure would prohibit a street sideshow on any street or highway in Illinois and a person may not knowingly cause the movement of traffic to slow or stop for the purpose of facilitating street racing or a street sideshow. Under current law, people cannot be arrested for blocking a street or highway.
The measure would penalize the impediment of traffic for a street sideshow or street racing in the same manner as the act of street racing. The first violation is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a determinate sentence of less than one year and a minimum fine of $250. A second or subsequent violation is considered a Class 4 felony punishable by a sentence of one to three years and a minimum fine of $500.
“As a former Chicago police officer, I know law enforcement’s number one job is to protect people,” Munoz said. “Without this measure, drivers could be put in an unsafe situation and police officers can’t do anything to protect them.”
House Bill 5439 passed the Senate and now heads to the House for concurrence.