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The Safety Band

What is the Safety Band?

The Safety Band is radio spectrum reserved specifically for transportation safety. In 1999, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated 75 MHz of radio spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band to be used for vehicle and infrastructure communications... more

Secretary Chao Stresses Importance of the Safety Band

“…the First Responder Safety Technology Pilot Program…will provide up to $38 million to equip emergency response vehicles, transit vehicles and related infrastructure, including traffic signals and highway-rail-grade crossings, with V2X technology.  These systems will use the 5.9 Gigahertz “Safety Band” of spectrum currently allocated for use in transportation systems.  We know this issue is important to you.  We believe it is important to retain bandwidth for this purpose and have advocated that the FCC do so.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, briefing to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Washington, DC on February 26, 2020  Click here for full text

U.S. DOT’s March 13, 2020 Response to the FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Click here to read our filing, submitted via the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Statement from Acting Undersecretary of Transportation for Policy Joel Szabat during his June 16, 2020 Senate Confirmation Hearing: “Our Office of Research and Technology has played a lead role in the past year in advancing the Department’s responsibilities in spectrum, and as the civilian federal government lead for the Global Positioning Satellite system. In that capacity, we recommended against the introduction of new broadband that would interfere with GPS, and tested eleven potential backup technologies. We have also advocated for the preservation of the 5.9 GHz 'Transportation Safety Band' to allow for the emergence of new technologies, with a plan to deploy connected vehicle technology in 5 million vehicles in five years.”

Statement from Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy Finch Fulton, speaking at the July, 2020 Automated Vehicle Symposium: “What we know is that this technology has the terrific potential to save lives...And, if we lose the fidelity of that transmission - the fidelity of that signal - we cannot rely upon it for safety purposes. We have a technology that saves lives and is being incorporated today. People are using it, we are at the tipping point - suddenly the rug is being pulled out from us.” 

What They Are Saying – Some Responses to the FCC NPRM “Use of the 5.850-5.925 GHz Band” 

  • Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE): “... ITE believes that giving away spectrum that has been set aside for life-saving communications is unwise. Any changes to the allocation today would have the effect of hitting the “reset” button and erasing a decade or more of valuable lessons learned - and significantly setting-back nationwide deployment of life-saving technology...”
  • Alliance for Automotive Innovation: “…The record is clear: addressing the nearly 40,000 traffic fatalities that occur each year is an urgent and widely shared national priority... The record reflects that 75 MHz is needed to support critical V2X applications, and a smaller allocation simply would not suffice.”
  • See more of What They Are Saying...
  • FCC NPRM Docket - Use of the 5.850-5.925 GHz Band

Learn more about the Safety Band's importance to Connected and Automated Vehicles

Maps and Infographics

Events and Announcements


Fact Sheets

Speeches and Public Statements

Testing Plans and Technical Info

Related Programs and Policy