About AAA AlabamaServing Our Members Since 1924
AAA Alabama traces its origins to the founding of the Alabama Motorists Association (AMA) in 1924, but that was not the first AAA club in Alabama. That distinction goes to the Birmingham Automobile Club, which began at the dawn of the automobile age in the early 20th century but went out of business in 1923. AMA became a statewide organization through merger with AAA clubs in Huntsville and Mobile.
Member Advocacy in the 1930s
The Alabama Motorists Association became well-known for its success in eliminating speed traps, which took enormous effort over many years, because small towns in Alabama often set up traffic enforcement as a means to raise revenues. The club brought suit against towns that required cash bonds for traffic violations, and eventually won legislation that would "do away with the incorporation papers of a town when its traffic enforcement becomes known as a 'speed trap.'"
The club's advocacy for improved highways could also help, as in 1935, when the reconstruction of U.S. Route 11 would "eliminate the necessity of motorists going through Lipscomb," a town notorious for its speed traps.
AAA Member Non-Profit Gas Depots Opens
During the Depression, AMA received a barrage of complaints from members about high gasoline prices that varied across the state. Finding that prices were lowest where competition was highest, the club opened a "Gas Depot" in Birmingham—a non-profit gas station owned by the club—which sold gasoline to members at two cents off the retail price. Before long, the AMA opened a second Gas Depot.
AMA enjoyed steady growth in the second half of the 20th century, adding travel and insurance services and building new branches.