When a child is kidnapped, providing the public with urgent and timely information may be a matter of life or death. That is why the Missouri Department of Transportation participates in the AMBER Alert Plan, designed to quickly spread emergency information through all possible means in hopes of saving lives.
MoDOT recently received a $400,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration to implement its portion of the plan. With the FHWA funds and $100,000 in state money, several changeable message boards will be added on Interstates 70 and 44 to increase emergency communication.
“These additional message boards will not only be used for Amber Alert situations, but to also help with the overall management of the traffic system and motorist communications,” said Eileen Rackers, state traffic engineer. “They’ll really become an invaluable part of our overall traveler information program, helping motorists every day in some areas of our system.”
MoDOT joined the AMBER Alert program several years ago and continues to work with other agencies to establish a set of procedures in the event of abduction. The plan was created in 1996 following the abduction and brutal murder of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Texas. The purpose of the plan is to provide a rapid response to the most serious child abduction cases.