Officials say nearly 20 percent of Bay Area freeway signs used for “Amber Alerts” aren´t working. One sign was turned off when a California Highway Patrol officer feared it was causing motorists to slow down and create a traffic hazard. Others cut off the last two digits of phone numbers. The alert system was adopted in California after the slaying of Samantha Runnion in Orange County in July. TV and radio stations broadcast information about kidnappings and the freeway signs are activated.
At least five Amber Alerts were issued in California this month. The California Highway Patrol helps to oversee the program and issues alerts when there´s a confirmed kidnapping in which the child is in danger. The system has led to the recovery of four children in California.