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Thruway Authority to Put Missing Children Photos on Toll Tickets

February 20, 1985

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Pictures and brief descriptions of missing children will soon be printed on the backs of toll tickets handed out by the New York State Thruway authority, state officials say.

The 559-mile-long Thruway handles 500,000 motorists a day and about 80 million tickets are handed out annually, authority chairman Henry Bersani said Tuesday.

He estimated the cost of printing two pictures, descriptions and a toll- free number on toll tickets would be about $25,000 a year. Thruway receipts would pay for the printing, he said, adding he did not know when the new tickets will be available.

″It’s a great idea. I’m sorry I didn’t think of it first,″ said Bersani. The authority has printed slogans like ″I Love NY″ and ″Buckle Up,″ for the state’s mandatory seat belt law, on the tickets.

Bersani said Assemblyman James Tedisco, chairman of the Legislative Task Force on Missing Children, and Assemblyman William Bush, a task force member, came up with the suggestion.

The children pictured could be changed every three months, Bersani said, and may vary by region.

Child Find, the New Paltz-based missing children clearinghouse, may provide the pictures, Bersani said. The private agency lists 157 missing New York children.

″The more exposure we can get with the photos the better,″ said Judith Green of Child Find.

The move comes following increased awareness nationally about missing children. Milk and soft drink companies as well as bread bakers have recently announced plans to put photos of missing children on their products.