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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  AAA


The New York Times
December 1, 1909

A. A. A. Advocates More Stringent Observance of the Rules of the Road.


Annual Report Shows $12,000 in Treasury with Membership of 25,759—Manufacturers Have Busy Time.

Speed regulations and the necessity for a more stringent observance of the rules of the road formed one of the most important topics of discussion yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Automobile Association at the Hotel Belmont.  The attendance was thoroughly representative of the leading automobile sections of the country, about fifty Directors being present, the States sending the biggest delegations being New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio.

Oliver A. Quayle, Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the New York State Association, opened the subject of reckless driving, which in some sections has caused autoists to be severely attacked, by offering a resolution which goes much further than any formal action hitherto taken by the National Association to curb motor recklessness and insist upon sane and reasonable driving. The motion places the association on record as favoring even the revocation of licenses and jail penalties in proportion to the extent of the offenses. Mr. Quayle further explained that recent conditions in automobiling not only warranted but enforced some action by motorists who have the best interests of automobiling at heart, to prevent future repetitions of accidents and recklessness in driving which have agitated many parts of the country.

A large part of the meeting was devoted to the presentation of reports by the officers and Chairmen of the various boards.  The new Directors will meet to-day for the election of officers. Both the Secretary's and the Treasurer's reports show that the National organization is in the best condition numerically and financially in its history.  Treasurer H. A. Bonnell reported an approximate balance of $12,000.  Secretary Elliott's report showed that during the past year the membership increased 50 per cent., the present membership being 25,759, representing thirty State associations.  The total number of clubs affiliated with the A. A. A. is 225.  Six new State associations were formed during the year.

President Lewis R. Speare's report dealt with the increasing interest in automobiling in its various phases throughout the country, as shown by the success of the work done by the Contest, Legislative, Good Roads, and Touring Information Boards.

In view of the fact that Chairman Frank B. Hower of the Contest Board indicated that he wished to retire from that position at the expiration of his time, and in recognition of the work he has accomplished for the association, a resolution presented by Chairman Charles Thaddeus Terry of the Legislative Board expressing the gratitude of the association for Mr. Hower's successful efforts was unanimously adopted.

Chairman George C. Diehl of the Good Roads Boar dspoke of the success of the second National Good Roads Convention, held in Cleveland last September, and urged all the members to support to the utmost the third National Convention, which will be held in St. Louis next Fall.  Mr. Diehl said that the good roads movements in this country has just begun, and he suggested that special good roads meetings be held during the year by all automobile, Grange, and farmers' clubs.

Chairman Terry of the Legislative Board presented an exhaustive report of the work of his committee and outlined the general plan that has been proposed for the first National Legislative Convention, which will be held in Washington next February.  At that time the National Registration bill will be reintroduced into Congress, and it is expected that a public hearing upon the merits of the bill will be held during the week of the convention.  The uniform State motor vehicle law will also be brought prominently before the members, and efforts will be made to secure its introduction in the Legislatures of those States which either possess no effective motor laws or those which in certain instances have been shown to be unreasonable in their provisions.

The following Directors were present:

Lewis R. Speare, President, who presided; Gorton W. Allen, Auburn, N. Y.; George B. Baird, Oneonta, N. Y.; H. A. Bonnell, East Orange, N. J.; A. G. Batchelder, Summit, N. J.; W. H. Chase, Leominster, Mass.; A. D. Converse, Winchendon, Mass.; John P. Coghlin, Worcester, Mass.; E. P. Chalfant, New York; S. Boyer Davis, Philadelphia, Penn.; George C. Diehl, Buffalo, N. Y.; J. H. Edwards, Jersey City, N. J.; F. H. Elliott, New York; Powell Evans, Philadelphia, Penn.; Dr. J. N. Faulkner, Paterson, N. J.; C. H. Gillette, Hartford, Conn.; Robert P. Hooper, Philadelphia, Penn.; C. W. Holmes, Elmira, N. Y.; Dr. W. H. Card, Minneapolis, Minn.; A. E. Lerche, Springfield, Mass.; S. A. Miles, New York; William E. Metzger, Detroit, Mich.; George A. Post, Paterson, N. J.; Oliver A. Quale, Albany, N. Y.; Dr. W. P. Richardson, Brooklyn, N. Y.; the Hon. John B. Rose, Newburg, N. Y.; M. L. Ryder, Albany, N. Y.; H. C. Schock, Mount Joy, Penn.; Charles Thaddeus Terry, New York; George H. Waters, New Brighton, S. I.; Joseph H. Weeks, Philadelphia, Penn.; Paul C. Wolff, Pittsburg, Penn., and John A. Wilson, Franklin, Penn.

There were also present W. O. Griffith, Secretary Touring Information Board; Howard Longstreth, member Automobile Club of Philadelphia; Bert Van Tuyle, Secretary New York State Automobile Association and Rochester Automobile Club, and E. L. Ferguson, Secretary American Automobile Association Contest Board.

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