DOT, Automotive Leaders Join ITS America in Calling for Preserving Safety Spectrum for Transportation Safety Critical Communications

Washington – Top officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) joined the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) today to stress the importance of preserving the entire 5.9GHz ‘safety spectrum’ band for life-saving vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies.

ITS America hosted the event, during the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting, with a broad group of stakeholders committed to reducing fatalities on U.S. roadways. Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its plans to give away more than half of the 5.9GHz band, which is designated for transportation safety critical communications, to unlicensed devices.

“Asia and Europe, as well as Canada and Mexico, have set aside their own Safety Bands in the 5.9 GHz band, said Diana Furchgott-Roth, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology at DOT. “Preserving this capability is important for America to remain the world leader in transportation automation and for Americans to have high levels of safety. The FCC’s original commitment of airwaves for transportation was, and still is, a prudent decision.”

“Rarely has there been a traffic safety technology with as much potential to save lives as vehicle-toeverything technology,” said Acting NHTSA Administrator James Owens. “V2X holds the promise to save lives, improve transportation efficiency, and change the way we drive, walk, and bike. We must preserve the Safety Band for transportation innovation so we can save lives, protect vulnerable road users, and support the development of autonomous vehicles.”

“Giving away the Safety Spectrum for unlicensed use will reduce available safety services and risk lives,” said John Bozzella, President and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. “The auto industry is ready to deploy V2X technologies using the full 75 MHz; this will help save lives, reduce congestion and help the environment.”

“With more than 36,000 traffic fatalities a year on our nation’s highways, it is imperative that we preserve the 5.9 GHz safety band that supports the deployment of critical life-saving V2X technologies that can greatly reduce those fatalities,” said AASHTO Executive Director Jim Tymon. “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with USDOT, the automakers and the rest of the transportation community to make this happen.”

“We cannot allow the FCC to give away our top safety tool in the fight against this epidemic of roadway fatalities,” said ITS President & CEO Shailen Bhatt. “Now is the time to mobilize everyone who cares about safety and send a message that saving lives must be the priority.”

Contact: Cathy St. Denis,

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About ITS America The Intelligent Transportation Society of America advances the research and deployment of intelligent transportation technologies to save lives, improve mobility, promote sustainability, and increase efficiency and productivity. Our vision is a better future transformed by intelligent mobility: safer, greener, smarter. For more information, please visit