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Public Safety Groups Support AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act


U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress

A public safety coalition has sent a letter to congressional leaders and the ranking members of House and Senate committees in support of the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act (H.R. 3413 and S. 1669). The coalition includes Big City Emergency Managers, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, International Association of Emergency Managers, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Association of Counties and National Emergency Management Association.

The legislation was recently introduced on a bicameral, bipartisan basis in response to some automakers removing AM radio out of their new vehicles. The bill would direct the Secretary of Transportation to ensure consumer access to AM radio in all vehicles because of its critical role in disseminating vital information during emergencies.

The letter reads, in part:

"As emergency managers working to maintain the nation's ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all emergencies, disasters and threats to our nations' national security, AM radio is an essential tool to effectively disseminating local, timely and crucial information to the public. When extreme weather events occur and broadband, electric power and cell service are out, people with AM radios can continue to receive critical, and possibly lifesaving, information.

"Unlike other services, AM broadcasts are unique in terms of their resiliency and reach, including to areas that may not be served fully, if at all, by cell and/or broadband service. Of particular concern to us is the fact that removing free broadcast AM radio from certain vehicles effectively dismantles the Federal Emergency Management Agency's system for ensuring the President can reach all Americans in the event of a public safety or national security emergency."

The resolution comes before a House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing entitled "Listen Here: Why Americans Value AM Radio" on Tuesday, June 6.

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