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Just what we need (not) --another traffic clogger

September 24, 2008 |  2:38 pm

traffic, amber alert, advertising, california, los angeles, orange county, budget, amber, transportation, driving, signsA stumbling public budget always seems to bring out the creative marketing ideas, the latest one being to use the freeway signs erected for Amber Alerts to flash advertising at motorists (presumably, between the warnings about kidnappings). California could make tens of millions off this -- tens of millions being enough these days to build one basic high school.

Every time an Amber Alert goes up, traffic backs up just before each sign as drivers slow to make out the message. It's not the safest situation, or the one most conducive to traffic flow. But we're talking about saving kids here, and the CHP says the Amber Alerts have been effective at that.

How do we feel, though, about all those little clots on the freeway, multiplied throughout the day, to read a fast-food ad? And how many of us would stop looking at the signs altogether, since most of the time they'd be filled with marketing instead of information on how to foil a kidnapper? 

Photo: Fred Prouser/Reuters

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