Rep. Ugaste Filing Bill To Stiffen Penalties on Those Who Block Highways During Protests

State Representative Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) expects a bill to be filed soon establishing stiffer penalties for individuals who block traffic while protesting. Blocking traffic on busy interstates and freeways is very dangerous and can cause accidents and life-threatening situations when delaying emergency responders.

“In light of the protests cutting off traffic on the Kennedy Expressway near O’Hare Airport this morning, it’s another reminder how dangerous and disruptive protests can be when they block roads,” stated Rep. Ugaste. “It’s time to criminalize this activity and bring greater charges to those committing these acts, especially when putting others in harm’s way. Our first responders cannot be delayed in this manner.”

“What happens when an ambulance can’t get through?  What happens when a fire truck is delayed? Lives are at stake. This behavior is dangerous, and it is ridiculous that we allow it,” stated Rep. Ugaste.

I am disappointed by the Governor’s response,” stated Rep. Ugaste. “We do not have to be respectful of protestors who break the law. The Governor should act swiftly and justly, sending the State Police to physically remove these individuals.”

Today’s protests near O’Hare caused people to leave their vehicles on the blocked roadway, many walking with their luggage to get to the airport. The travel disruptions lasted for an hour during a very busy morning travel period. These protests are a major public safety issue, and stiffer penalties must be assessed to the offenders.