Amber Alerts: a wake-up call

From CityNews

Most of us have smart phones and unless we turn them off or put them in airplane mode overnight, we’re going to be awakened by an Amber Alert occurring anywhere in the province. To me this is overkill. Other jurisdictions have managed to allow opting out of the alerts or containing them to regions. Not so in Canada. Each province can only issue a province-wide alert.

My heart bleeds when some unfortunate child goes missing in Thunder Bay, Ottawa or Windsor but there’s very little I can do from my bed here in Greater Weston™; especially when police wait until 3 am to wake me and ask me to do their job. Yes, there may be compelling examples of how an AA has saved a life but they are extremely rare. In most cases, alerts are triggered by a parental dispute with little danger to the child.

People annoyed at being awakened by an Amber Alert are made to feel like pariahs. Don’t get me wrong; if you call 911 because you’re mad at being awakened by an AA, it’s official; you’re an idiot. Most of us don’t call 911 to complain but there’s a considerable body of opinion that only heartless douches resent being awakened.

Call me old-fashioned but I like a good night’s sleep. A solid 7 or 8 hours is important for us so-called adults in order to function effectively the next day. Indeed, population-wide sleep disturbances are dangerous. How do we know this? Each spring after the clocks go forward, the loss of an hour’s sleep boosts heart attack and road accident rates significantly (7% and 17% respectively).

In effect, Amber Alerts may kill more people than they save.

The fix: either restrict alerts to daytime hours or (to accommodate shift workers) allow people to opt out while asleep.

Oh and one more thing; cut the sanctimony.

15 thoughts on “Amber Alerts: a wake-up call”

  1. You’re a selfish writer. I can drive to Windsor in 5-6 hours. What happens when that same kidnapper drives from Windsor to Weston? And that amber alert awakens you, you look outside and go Holy shit that’s the car/truck whatever that the police are looki g for! I should call the police to report it!

    Wow you could have just saved the life of the kidnapped kid!!!

    But no. You’re a selfish self centered person. Hopefully you never need the police or need them to use the amber alert for your kids….. hopefully you don’t have any and never do, you don’t deserve them.

  2. Thanks for your comment Craig. Ontario’s population numbers in the millions. Are you seriously suggesting that at each Amber Alert, millions of us should get out of bed, stand outside and watch for the abductor?

    I’m guessing you didn’t do that during the last few alerts.

  3. I thought there were ways to opt out of the AA , Google posted a solution yesterday. Or you can turn your phone off at night too if you think it is a nuisance.
    I don’t agree with your position but we are all entitled to an opinion.

  4. Notice folks with older cell phones, or have no data plans, or shut off their data and only run on Wifi at home, don’t receive these amber alerts? The amber alerts work on the newer LTE network.
    At night or when you are at home, try shutting off the LTE network and use only 3G. This still permits the text messaging and phone calls from people who wish to reach you (in the case of an emergency of course because who would be calling you at 3am, right?).

    But as craig said, someone could drive the distance from Windsor to Toronto in 5 hours or less which is why the amber alert went all across Ontario. Just a few months ago, the amber alert helped!

    Sure, I agree that I lose a little bit of sleep, and it’s not fun by any means, but if someone out there sees something (even if it’s in the middle of the night) and saves a child, that inconvenience is worth it. I don’t feel too bad in the morning, and can go to bed earlier at night. But for some people just can’t function without their proper 8 hours sleep, try my idea above or shut off the phone at night.

  5. I had to check the date.
    And no, it’s not “April Fools”.

    Man, you need to start wearing your bicycle helmet, Roy.
    That duck bill on your cap has failed you.
    (Hope you never need help – instant karma may bite you in the backside.)

    Move your device away from your sleep area, sir.

  6. What the heck! This is extremely disappointing, Roy. I would’ve thought better from a progressive writer/thinker like you.

    Pro tip: Turn off the ringer on your phone before you tuck into bed. I’m guessing that’s at around 9 each night … right after that serving of warm milk and cookies. And then in the morning, program a daily reminder in your phone’s calendar to turn the ringer back on when you get up at 9 … so you don’t forget.

    Cheers, Paul (tongue-in-cheek for only some of that)

  7. Agree, with Paul’s “progressive” thoughts.

    For a person who would have us seriously side with his noted “right side of history” stances (political, social, flooding, pedestrians), this seems 180 degrees away.

    But, we’re all only human.
    This I know.

  8. Look Ron, as others have expressed, although alerts can be late at night or some other ‘inconvenient’ time, they do serve a important purpose. Your comment of “especially when police wait until 3 am to wake me and ask me to do their job” ticked me off. Find out how to opt out of alerts (there is an option in my 3 year old phone to do so) or ditch your smartphone for something simple. Looks like the panel is against you on this one.

  9. Leave the man alone you snowflakes. You’re all warriors of rights, how about the man’s right to an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

  10. Glad to see the spirit of Torquemada is alive and well in Weston’s “progressive” community. Interesting how left and right meet at their lunatic, fundamentalist fringes. Quiet a mob has gathered with semi-lit torches to denounce this writer’s attempt to criticize a poorly run government program.
    As a Left gathering, these posts do not disappoint. They are a mash of ad hominem attacks; politically incorrect insults which would be attacked if used by the Right, and a parody of Gypsy curses not seen since the “I love Lucy” show.
    Paul Ferreira, first good for you for posting under your own name, but shame for falling back on cheap “ageist” stereotypes to insult the writer, who I assume is an older person. “serving of warm milk and cookies” “ringer back on when you get up at 9 … so you don’t forget.”. I guess ageophobia is not yet on the NDP list of those thou shalt not insult. Maybe it’s this type of wit which has lost you six elections, if Wikipedia is correct.
    But the curses are the best:
    “Hope you never need help – instant karma may bite you in the backside”. If instant karma existed there would be no need for Amber Alerts so that is stupid.
    “Hopefully you never need the police or need them to use the amber alert for your kids….. hopefully you don’t have any and never do, you don’t deserve them” This one is truly nasty. Have you ever stopped to think he might have had children who have died? Or perhaps his wife is unable to have children, lovely shot in the gut to her. But hey, all’s fair when one cannot take the time to think of a logical argument.
    Finally Craig, the embodiment of the virtue signalling which costs nothing. So you hear an Amber Alert and all you have do is look out your window; read the licence of a vehicle driving by just at that moment; phone 911 and you save a child? Really? In this scenario do you even have to get out of bed?
    This writer tried to use facts to point out that province-wide Amber Alerts are a blunt tool and Canada can do better. The facts are that the number one cause of death for children is accidents. The chance that some bleary-eyed driver, awoken by an Amber Alert, will kill a child in a traffic accident is far greater than that a child’s life will be saved by an Amber Alert. That is reality; but in Clown World easy self-righteousness always trumps logic.

    1. “What goes around comes around.”

      And, in this case before we get even more cranky defending & attacking, what’s the harm of doing the right thing – at bedtime, at least?


      Yeah, simple & trite.
      (At least for some who aren’t digital junkies.)

      Maybe then, in the morning we can help the authorities dream up something more wonderful & practical, to please us all.

      It can wait.

  11. Oh all the know it all of weston are on here…you know who you are….no one can have another opinion.
    No wonder weston rd is crap

  12. I like the part about avoiding sanctimoniusness.
    Just my opinion
    I agree there should be an opt out option because will not be helpful

  13. Why force this on people? Some don’t care, others do, so why not just let each individual decide? Why does it have to be so toxic?

    Those saying turn off your phone, sure ok, but most people these days use their phone for an alarm. If you’re suggesting turn it off, then why not just have an opt out? It accomplishes the same thing, but without dividing people with different opinions. Do you really care if your neighbors opt out? If so, are you getting out of bed at 3am to look out your windows or patrol the neighborhood 500 kilometers from the source? If you’re not doing that, aren’t you a hypocrite?

    Just let people make up there own mind. Some will be open to help, others won’t. Why force your point of view on others.

    Side note, happy to see the left eating the left. You can’t be progressive enough. There is no end.

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