Following a couple of Amber Alerts recently, the 911 line has been flooded with irate callers complaining about the disruption it causes. To combat these complainers, one Toronto woman has launched an online campaign to convince the government to impose fines on people who tie-up the 911 system to complain about the alerts.
Dalia Monacelli started a petition on Change.org last week and so far, it’s gathered about 55,000 online signatures.
“I’m going to take matters in my own hands or at least try to, and try to change something,” she said.
People who have signed the petition say it’s about ensuring children are found safe.
“If it was your child you would want the world to stop,” said Stephanie Reid. “I cannot believe people are so self-involved.”
While most people are sympathetic toward the families who are frantically hoping for a public tip and assistance in finding their children unharmed, there is no doubt that Amber Alerts in the middle of the night can be highly stressful and disrupting for many families.
Sushma, a mother of two in Mississauga says: “The last time an Amber Alert went out at 3 am, we got up with a fright thinking it was our fire alarm, we raced around the house disoriented until we realized it was an Amber Alert. It ruined our sleep and the next day’s work was ruined,” she said, echoing a similar sentiment held by thousands of GTA residents.
In many homes people keep their phones for charging away from their bedrooms and if there is a dire sounding Amber Alert in the middle of the night, it can cause people to race downstairs and potentially end up hurting themselves. It can cause panic attacks and perhaps even a heart attack.
On the other hand, it is a life at risk and the duty of all citizens to look out for each other. But at 3 am, many residents draw the line. -CINEWS