On May 17, US Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the “AM For Every Vehicle Act”. This is the first piece of legislation addressing the growing trend of auto manufacturers removing AM radio from new vehicles.
If signed into law, the bill would direct the Department of Transportation to require US car makers to include AM radio in all new vehicles at no additional cost.
That same week, Indiana Representative Greg Pence co-authored a letter with Ohio Representative Bob Latta that was sent to auto manufacturers. Representative Larry Bucshon and Rudy Yakym were among the 102 legislators who signed the letter.
“The primary reason that the Indiana Broadcasters Association exists is to advocate for our industry, and taking our message to Congress on behalf of AM station operators and their listeners is something we take very seriously. The Hoosier state has some 80 AM stations in operation. Many have FM translators and also stream online, but that doesn’t cover every broadcasters. Time and time again we’ve learned that cell phone connections are not reliable, especially during natural disasters. That’s why it’s so important that both AM and FM radio are maintained as free services for drivers. For over 90 years, car radios have kept drivers informed and entertained. The car radio is also an essential link during an AMBER Alert, when drivers are looking for a specific car and a child in danger. We want to make sure drivers of internal combustion and electric vehicles can easily tune to their favorite stations in the future,” said IBA Executive Director Dave Arland.
A contingent of Indiana broadcasters will visit Capitol Hill in June to meet with Indiana representatives about AM radio and the proposed legislation.