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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich announces upgrades for security systems at Interstate highway rest areas in Illinois
IDOT to upgrade emergency phones and cameras at rest areas, statewide; will provide extra measure of security for motorists, traveling in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced upgrades are underway to security systems at Illinois rest areas.  New security cameras and emergency phones will be installed at locations where they are needed, providing motorists added security when they stop at rest areas along interstate highways in Illinois. 
 
“Making sure people are safe on Illinois roadways means making sure they’re safe at our rest areas too.  And, upgrading our cameras and phones will provide an extra measure of security to the traveling public,” said Governor Blagojevich.
 
The emergency phones will be individually programmed to dial the nearest Illinois State Police (ISP) location.  State Troopers or appropriate emergency personnel will then be dispatched to the site, to respond to the calls.  The security cameras will provide surveillance of the rest area facilities and surrounding parking areas.  The cameras will be linked to a digital video recorder (DVR) at each site, where video can be reviewed, as needed.
 
“The Illinois Department of Transportation values the traveling public and seeks not only to provide clean and pleasant rest areas, but also rest areas that are safe and secure,” said IDOT Secretary Milton R. Sees.  “The work that is being done will ensure that this security system is operational and keeping our motorists safe, at rest areas in Illinois.”
 
Approximately 40 million people visit Illinois’ rest areas, every year.  In the past, the security cameras have assisted police in solving crimes.  Medical staff has responded to emergencies, in part from calls that came from the emergency phones.
 
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has allocated $450,000 toward the initial stages of the upgrade process.  Work is underway now at two test sites and is expected to be completed at 52 rest area locations by mid summer.  D.M. Mattson, of McLean, Illinois, is installing the upgrades and will provide the maintenance of the equipment and technical through June, 2010.  This total cost through 2010 is $1.2 million.
 
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