How can AMBER alerts be improved?


Amber Alerts need to speed up and pictures would help.

I have a few more ideas that I believe would make the system more effective, but first, off I have to address the comment that says ‘75% of children who are abducted are dead in the first 3 hours- that’s not true; the real fact is that 75% of the kids WHO ARE ULTIMATELY MURDERED are dead within the first 3 hours. Not 75% of all abducted kids. Still, that fact shows how important it is that the alert system speeds up & how important it is to improve the system.

I believe, with modern technology, people who receive the Amber Alert should be told to be on “high alert” or “hypervigilant” based on where they are located, and to go one step further, one might argue that Amber Alerts, in general, should only be sent to specific locations when it’s most likely that a suspect vehicle could have traveled such a distance based on real-time traffic data which is the technology used by Waze, Google Maps, Lyft & Uber. Even just a follow-up on the alert telling people to be on high alert would be better than the current system of sending out statewide alerts all at once (please correct me if I’m wrong). If a child is abducted in Oakland and the alert goes out 3 hours later, shouldn’t citizens of Los Angeles be informed to be on high alert 2–5 hours later (assuming 5–8hr travel time)?

Secondly, I would like to see a company like Uber or Lyft make it so the drivers have the option of turning their phone into a dashcam- all it would take is a good phone mount, a newer phone, and existing license plate reading technology. If there’s a license plate or partial plate, a newer model phone with 4k HD video capability (or even just 720p?) could scan ahead and alert drivers that they might have a suspect vehicle in their sites. If Google were to integrate a dashcam/license plate reading technology into their current GPS mapping products (Waze, Google Maps) anyone with a decent phone could have this technology at their fingertips and there could be literally millions of drivers out actively searching for the suspect vehicle description, for example, “blue Toyota Camry partial plates ending in G665”.

The dashcam could scan for make/model, color, etc. as well as search for matching plates and reliable time/distance info (described above) to ensure accuracy.

It could work with or without consuming data on the phone. Data could automatically be uploaded to the cloud and removed from the phone to make it so the phone’s memory is not eaten up all at once or not used at all. Additionally, a cloud upload feature could be fine-tuned to only save and upload the footage if deemed necessary, for example, if there’s a license plate match or if the phone’s accelerometer triggers a “likely collision”.

I think a company like Lyft/Uber would also benefit from adding a dashcam feature to their driver’s app in that the footage could be used to address fraudulent claims and address who’s at fault for an accident, which likely would lower their insurance rates- and it could be the first step to creating a more effective Amber Alert system.

If just one child were to be saved and one more abductor is put behind bars, isn’t it worth the effort?

l will continue to search for a person or company out there with the resources to make these ideas a reality.

If anyone thinks this is a bad idea, please comment or send me a message. Constructive criticism is welcome as are any other ideas regarding improving the Amber Alert system

Note: Amber alert involves a child. Silver alert involves an elderly person or person over age of 55

Author: Mark Capone
Source: Quora


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