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Permitted Content for
Travelers' Information Station Broadcasts
FCC Permitted Content for TISsIn three content-related sections below, we offer a formula to help station operators determine the types of information appropriate to broadcast on Travelers' Information Stations (TIS), according to FCC rules:
  1. "What am I allowed to broadcast?"
  2. "What am I required to broadcast?"
  3. "What content is not allowed?"
Then, a section entitled "TIS Background" briefly outlines stations that qualify as Travelers' Information Stations under the FCC "TIS" umbrella, with links to rules and clarifications published by the FCC in 2015.

"Footnotes" rest at the end with citations and excerpts from FCC documents that correspond to the preceding content-related sections.
What am I allowed to broadcast?
When planning broadcasts, it helps to remember the acronym TIDE; because, according to the FCC, broadcast content is permitted to relate to...

T
ravel, Imminent Danger or Emergencies 

Following are examples of each with FCC references.
TRAVEL IMMINENT DANGER - (Mouse over to see note.)
Operator Discretion
The Federal Communications Commission affords public safety officials “…discretion regarding the …service. Given their intimate knowledge of local conditions and considering the limited area of operation of TIS base stations, TIS licensees are in the best position to determine what constitutes an “imminent [threat to] safety-of-life or property, as well as when emergency conditions reach the level of a hurricane, flood, earthquake or similar disaster” (****)
Traffic and Road Conditions (*)

Traffic Hazards (*)

Travel Advisories (*)

Directions (*)

Availability of Lodging (*)

Rest Stops & Service Stations (*)

Descriptions of Local Points of Interest (*)

511 Information (*) (****)


Such as:

 → Road Closures and Construction (*)(****)
 → Parking (*)(****)
 → Current Driving Travel Times (*)(****)
 → Air Flight Status (*)(****)
 → Truck Weigh Stations (*)(****)
 → Driver Rest Areas (*)(****)
 → Location of Truck Services (*)(****)
Content Directly Related to Safety of Life & Property (**)

Such as:

 → Weather Alerts (*)(****)
 → Difficult or Hazardous Conditions (****)
 → Vehicle Crashes (*)(****)
 → NOAA Weather Radio Rebroadcasts Relating to Potential
    or Existing Hazards (****)
EMERGENCIES - (Mouse over to see note.)
Operator Discretion
The Federal Communications Commission affords public safety officials “…discretion regarding the …service. Given their intimate knowledge of local conditions and considering the limited area of operation of TIS base stations, TIS licensees are in the best position to determine what constitutes an “imminent [threat to] safety-of-life or property, as well as when emergency conditions reach the level of a hurricane, flood, earthquake or similar disaster” (****)
During Emergency Periods in which Normal Communications Are Disrupted as a Result of Disasters (***)

Such as:

 → Emergency Points of Assembly (*)(****)
 → Evacuation Routes (*)(****)
 → Location of Shelters (*)(****)
 → Health Care (*)(****)
 → Emergency Facilities (*)(****)
 → NOAA Weather Radio Rebroadcasts Relating to Potential
     or Existing Hazards (****)
What am I required to broadcast? What content is not allowed?
Your Station's 7-Character Call Sign, at Least Every 30 Minutes. (++)

Such as:

 → This WQUK589, your information radio station on AM
     1610."

Related Links

For more info about call signs, see #13 on our FAQs webpage here linked.

Listen to sample broadcasts available from this link, our Recording Services webpage.
Music, Business Names − except for carrier names to announce departures, arrivals and parking at mass-transit terminals (*) − and Commercial Messages or Content Items Not Travel, Imminent Danger or Emergency Related

Such as:

 → Routine Weather Forecasts (****)
 → General Safety and Emergency Preparedness Messages,
     Health and Terrorist Information during Non-Emergency
     Periods (****)

Note:  The FCC qualifies these examples by stating that local public safety officials are charged with determining what content on their stations describes situations of imminent danger.
TIS Background
Travelers' Information Stations (TIS) are often referred to in general terms as “Information Radio Stations” or “Low Power AM Radio Stations.” In specific applications, TISs are sometimes called “Emergency Advisory Radio Stations” or “Highway Advisory Radio Stations (HAR)." Information Station Specialists trade names for the stations are ALERT AM, RadioSTAT, VoiceStar, ITS6000 and The Information Station.

To qualify as a TIS under the FCC Part 90.242 Rules umbrella, stations must operate at no more than 10 watts on the AM-band frequencies 530-1700 kHz. Signal coverage is limited to 2.0 mV/m at 1.5 km, which typically yields a signal radius of 3-5 miles. Motorists are notified to tune to the stations via road signs, which may incorporate flashing beacons. See also the FCC TIS Compliance Guide, published in 2014.

Federal agencies and state/local governments may license the stations through the NTIA and FCC, respectively. (NTIA is an acronym for National Telecommunications & Information Administration.) Some of those entities acquire funding for station purchases through grants and/or partnerships with constituencies.
Footnotes
(*) FCC Rules § 90.242 (a)(7)
"Travelers' Information Stations shall transmit only noncommercial voice information pertaining to traffic and road conditions, traffic hazard and travel advisories, directions, availability of lodging, rest stops and service stations, and descriptions of local points of interest. It is not permissible to identify the commercial name of any business establishment whose service may be available within or outside the coverage area of a Travelers' Information Station. However, to facilitate announcements concerning departures/arrivals and parking areas at air, train, and bus terminals, the trade name identification of carriers is permitted. Travelers' Information Stations may also transmit information in accordance with the provisions of §§90.405 and 90.407...."

(**) FCC Rules § 90.405(a)(1)
"Stations licensed under this part may transmit...any communication related directly to the imminent safety of life or property."

(***) FCC Rules § 90.407
"The licensee of any station authorized under this part may, during a period of emergency in which the normal communication facilities are disrupted as a result of hurricane, flood, earthquake or similar disaster, utilize such station for emergency communications in a manner other than that specified in the station authorization or in the rules and regulations governing the operation of such stations. The Commission may at any time order the discontinuance of such special use of the authorized facilities."

(****) FCC Report & Order (13-98)

(++) FCC Rule § 90.425 (a)
"...each station or system shall be identified by the transmission of the assigned call sign during each transmission or exchange of transmissions, or once each 15 minutes (30 minutes in the Public Safety Pool) during periods of continuous operation...."
Disclaimer:  Information Station Specialists, Inc., assumes no direct or implied responsibility for the content of radio station broadcasts. The licensee operator, with guidance from FCC TIS Part 90.242 Rules (including, but not limited to those linked above) assumes full responsibility for the content of station broadcasts.