A senior US senator urged car manufacturers and the Transportation Department to take steps to address an increase in carjackings in American cities.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, who is a Democrat, wants the Alliance for Automotive Innovation and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to adopt “universal standards for fast law enforcement access to vehicle location tracking data in carjacking incidents.”

He said accessing vehicle tracking information from stolen vehicles “may take law enforcement hours or even weeks.”

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In recent years, a number of U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, have recorded big increases in carjackings, with many involving juveniles and thefts at gunpoint.

CNN reported this week that Chicago had more than 1,800 carjackings in 2021, up about 30 percent from 2020 and more than five times the number in 2014, while CBS reported that carjackings in Philadelphia have nearly tripled since 2019, and the Washington Post reported that carjackings in Washington increased by about 20 percent in 2021.

Alliance for Automotive Innovation spokesman Don Stewart said the group would continue to work with Durbin “on this important issue. We’ve had good conversations with stakeholders in Illinois and elsewhere on this topic and those will continue.”

Last month, U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon was robbed of her car in a Philadelphia park at gunpoint.

Scanlon, a Democrat from Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District, was unharmed in the mid-afternoon carjacking that occurred after a meeting of elected leaders, according to city police.

Source: Reuters

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