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Traffic information systems are one of the key non-safety application areas of vehicular ad hoc networks. As such, TIS are much less delay sensitive than safety applications, which have recently attracted a lot of attention in VANET research. We propose a new message dissemination protocol, Adaptive Traffic Beacon (ATB), which is fully distributed and uses adaptive beaconing based on two key metrics: message utility and channel quality. It is shown that adaptive beaconing leads to much broader dissemination of messages (in terms of penetration rate) than flooding-based approaches, albeit at a slower rate. Adaptive beaconing thus seems to be much more suitable for TIS than flooding-based protocols.