Illinois State Police to get 500 new cars

| 2/10/2006

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has announced the Illinois State Police will replace 500 patrol cars in its fleet between March and July. The vehicle purchases are intended to cut down on costly repairs for many vehicles in the fleet of more than 2,300.

State Police vehicles average 122,000 miles, Master Sgt. Rick Hector, told the Chicago Tribune. The agency ideally would replace cars after they’ve reached about 80,000 miles, he said. But a majority of the fleet has more than 100,000 miles.

To foot the bill for the new vehicles, the state will issue more than $15 million in bonds. The money was appropriated in the current state budget.

In an effort to generate additional revenue to update more squad cars, Rep. Rich Brauer, R-Petersburg, has introduced a bill that would increase fines on some traffic violators.

As amended, the bill would add a $25 fee to the cost for traffic violators who are arrested. It originally called for an extra $10 to be assessed to offenders who opt for court supervision.

Another bill in the House would generate revenue for cars by adding a $5 fee to all speeding convictions.

Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, the bill’s co-sponsor, said that 500 new cars would be good, but he’s concerned the state will face the same problem three years from now.

Brauer’s bill – HB4521 – is awaiting further consideration before the full House. Black’s bill – HB4307 – is in the House Transportation and Motor Vehicles Committee.