AMBER Alerts Come to Gas Pumps

GREENSBORO, N.C. and HOUSTON: Notifications of abducted children will soon be displayed on gas pumps. Manufacturers of gas pump technology are adding AMBER Alert capability to their equipment.

Gilbarco Veeder-Root, a North Carolina maker of gas station equipment since 1865, said this week it will become a secondary distributor of AMBER Alerts. The company will carry the alerts on its gas-pump video screens and enable the receipt system to print out photos and information regarding missing children. The AMBER Alerts function will be an opt-in program available to retailers who manage their own video content and for those who use the company’s Applause TV service.

Another company, Houston’s Additech, which makes fuel additive kiosks deployed next to Murphy gas pumps, will carry AMBER Alerts as well. Murphy of El Dorado, Ark., owns and operates more than 1,000 outlets in 23 states.

AMBER Alerts are now primarily carried on TV, radio and electronic highway signs. Secondary distributors include federal agencies, companies facilitating 911 services and first-responder communications, “America’s Most Wanted,” several wireless providers, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, some non-network ISPs, and Qualcomm, which broadcasts the alerts to truckers.

AMBER Alerts are responsible for the recovery of 540 abducted children to date. For 2010, of 173 AMBER Alerts issues, 150 cases resulted in recovery, 28 of them as a direct result of AMBER alerts.
~ Deborah D. McAdams