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As I See It

AM For Every Vehicle Act dials up support

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It hasn’t crossed the finish line yet, but it is on the track. A bill in Congress to protect AM radio in new cars rolling off the assembly line is dialing up support in Washington. A total of 60 senators and 246 members of the House have signed on to support the “AM For Every Vehicle Act.” That is significant because that is a filibuster-proof majority, meaning if the legislation is put up for a vote, it will pass. Why is this even necessary? More and more car manufacturers are leaving AM radio off the dashboards of their new models, particularly EV’s. This legislation would force car manufacturers to keep providing AM radio, and at no extra charge to car buyers. That is important because AM radio is critical for broadcasting emergency information. Severe weather alerts, Amber Alerts and other messages are broadcast on AM. Sure; you can also get them on FM, with many AM stations like WIZM operating translators to allow you to hear the signal on FM. And you can stream our station on your phone or computer. But AM radio signals operate at lower frequencies, and can pass through solid objects and travel further than FM waves, important in the event of, say, a natural disaster. Especially in remote areas. Ditching AM is all about the carmakers trying to save a buck. But as Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey points out, “If Elon Must has enough money to buy Twitter and send rockets into space, he can afford to include AM radio in his Teslas.”

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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