2000-2009

2000

Forms RESPONSE Services Center, LLC, to launch state-of-the art telematics-enabled communications center in Columbia, Md. The company’s mission is to provide leading-edge, wireless mobile emergency assistance and travel information to AAA members via cell phones, digital pagers, hand-held computers and in-vehicle systems.

Receives a public service award from NHTSA in appreciation of AAA’s leadership in the Child Passenger Safety Certification Program, which teaches how to properly install infant/child safety seats, and continued efforts in graduated driver licensing enactment; by 2000, GDL laws exist in 44 states and the District of Columbia.

Testifies before three congressional committees regarding increased gasoline prices. Also lobbies to prevent Congress from repealing parts of the federal gasoline tax, which would have reduced Highway Trust Fund revenue without guaranteeing consumers any relief from high gas prices.

Testifies before Congress and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on proposed hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.

Launches Share With Care, a new truck safety outreach initiative, the first national campaign to focus attention on the fact that both motorists and truckers are responsible for keeping the road safe.

Participates in the U.S. Department of Transportation secretary’s Aviation Summit, during which AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet communicates AAA’s stand on the aviation crisis.

Begins providing daily gasoline pricing reports through the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, which includes a database of more than 200 metropolitan areas. Hits to the site reach one million in one month.

Renames Autograph book, which evaluates new cars, the New Car & Truck Buying Guide.

Signs a new agreement for financial product and services offerings with M&I Bank. AAA also dissolves AAA Financial Services Corp. and absorbs it into the AAA National Office.

Initiates a four-year plan to generate AAA maps from a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database and release new paper and electronic products from the same source. Conversion begins with vicinity and TourBook® guide maps.

Provides Battery Assist mobile battery testing and delivery service through 14 clubs.

Provides members the option of planning their own routings via the Internet TripTik® Travel Planner.

Launches an Internet-based technician locator service exclusively for AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities.

About this time

U.S. presidential election is too close to call as President George W. Bush’s slim lead in Florida leads to an automatic recount, and the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Bush’s favor. In the biggest merger in the country’s history, America Online agrees to buy Time Warner, the nation’s largest traditional media company, for $165 billion.

2001

Membership passes 44 million.

Publishes a new series of guide books called Barrier-Free Travel designed for the estimated 54 million Americans with disabilities. AAA also publishes the first edition of The Ultimate Fan’s Guide to Pro Sports Travel, for fans who travel to different arenas and venues for sporting events, and North America the Beautiful by noted landscape photographer Galen Rowell.

Signs a three-year agreement with General Motors to provide warranty roadside assistance services to GM new-car customers.

Introduces an additional component to the annual Auto Skills Contest allowing Ford Master Technicians to compete against each other.

About this time

Al-Qaeda terrorists attack the U.S., as hijackers fly jetliners into New York City’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Four are declared guilty in the 1998 terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. President Bush signs a new tax-cut law, the largest in 20 years.

2002

Celebrates its centennial with the launch of Seated, Safe & Secure, a child passenger safety campaign to help reduce the number of children killed or injured in vehicle crashes.

Becomes co-sponsor of AAA Glidden Tour®, an annual antique automobile touring event that revives the original AAA Glidden Tours from 1905 to 1913.

About this time

Kenneth L. Lay resigns as chairman of bankrupt energy trader Enron, which is under federal investigation for hiding debt and misrepresenting earnings. Pennsylvania miners are rescued after spending 77 hours in a dark, flooded mine shaft.

2003

Launches Get There America campaign to promote increased funding for safety and mobility initiatives in the next federal transportation reauthorization.

 

Sponsors a 20-year transportation exhibit, America on the Move, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Launches Life-Long Safe Mobility, a campaign to help seniors stay safe and mobile. The campaign promotes solutions such as senior-friendly road design, screening tools, education for seniors and their families and supplemental transportation.

Has its transportation safety agenda highlighted by Reader’s Digest, which focuses on the importance of road safety improvements, particularly for seniors.

About this time

U.S. and Britain launch war against Iraq, and Saddam Hussein is captured by American troops. Space shuttle Columbia explodes, killing all 7 astronauts. The Recording Industry Association of America files lawsuits against hundreds of people for illegally downloading songs over the Internet.

2004

Releases scientific study on World Health Day regarding seat belt use among the Latino population. To commemorate the day, “’lectric lime” ribbons are worn by AAA national and club employees.

Testifies at congressional travel/tourism hearing focused on security.

About this time

U.S. hands over power to Iraqi interim government, and Iyad Allawi becomes prime minister. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, become instant billionaires when the company goes public. Apple Computer’s iTunes sells its 200 millionth song.

2005

Re-enters auto racing as a sponsor of ISC-owned tracks.

Launches Roadwise Review: A Tool to Help Seniors Drive Safely Longer. This computer-based screening tool enables older drivers, in the privacy of their own homes, to identify and address physiological changes that could affect driving.

Serves on White House Conference on Aging, and two transportation-related resolutions are adopted by the conference.

Advocates for changes in EPA procedures to establish mileage ratings for new cars to make the estimates more accurate and reflective of real-world driving experiences. As a result, the EPA revises its testing measures.

Testifies before State Energy and Natural Resources Committee on gasoline prices post-Hurricane Katrina.

About this time

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein goes on trial for the killing of 143 people in the town of Dujail, Iraq, in 1982. Hurricane Katrina wreaks catastrophic damage on the Gulf Coast as more than 1,000 die and millions are left homeless. Cancer replaces heart disease as No. 1 cause of death for people ages 85 and under.

2006

Participate in events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the interstate highway system.

Testifies before the House Committee on Commerce and Energy about rising gas prices.

Provides research to EPA and supports EPA’s changes to the fuel economy labeling process for new vehicles, providing American consumers with more accurate information when shopping for cars and trucks.

Makes a three-year commitment to sponsor Roush Racing’s number 6 car on the NASCAR Nextel Circuit.

About this time

Saddam Hussein is convicted of crimes against humanity by an Iraqi court and hanged in Baghdad. The International Astronomical Union votes to redefine the solar system, and Pluto loses its status as a planet. Democrats gain control of both houses of the U.S. Congress in midterm elections.

2007

AAA membership reaches 50 million.

Teams with national first responder groups to launch Slow Down, Move Over, a national initiative to encourage motorists to be more cautious when passing any type of emergency vehicle parked on the roadside. The initiative includes an effort to have Move Over laws passed in all 50 states regarding all forms of emergency vehicles — police, fire, ambulance and roadside assistance.

About this time

California Democrat Nancy Pelosi becomes the first woman speaker of the House. U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate automobile emissions of heat-trapping gases and that the agency cannot shirk its responsibility to do so unless it provides a scientific reason.

2008

Releases research Smart Features for Mature Drivers at the New York International Auto Show. The research is conducted in partnership with the University of Florida’s National Older Driver Research & Training Center.

Celebrates 80 years of national traffic safety programs, which have helped teach generations of children and adults how to be safer drivers and protect them from crashes.

Honors the efforts of all who worked to improve child passenger safety standards and increase use of child safety seats on the 30th anniversary of the first state child passenger safety law. AAA encourages the traffic safety community to push for stronger, consistent legislation in all states and remain committed to educating the public on the importance of child passenger safety.

About this time

Cuban President Fidel Castro steps down after 49 years in power. The Federal Reserve approves a $30 billion loan to JPMorgan Chase so it can take over Bear Stearns, which is on the verge of collapse. Sen. Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected U.S. president. Members of the Group of 8, the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia, set goals to cut the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the environment in half by 2050.

2009

Launches its first mobile application, AAA Roadside, which allows members to request roadside assistance from their smartphones without having to place a call to AAA. The application sends their GPS location, membership details, vehicle information and more directly to AAA Roadside Assistance.

Calls on the EPA to reject a petition that would increase the permissible content of ethanol blended in gasoline to 15 percent, or E15, from 10 percent, commonly known as E10. AAA cites its support of alternative fuels but points out concerns about the effect of E15 on engine systems and component parts, vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, or increased vehicle emissions.

Releases its first list of top vehicles for new technology, highlighting new safety, performance, comfort and environmentally friendly technologies.

Announces the launch of DUIJusticeLink.com, a website created for criminal justice professionals. The site compiles DUI-related resources including state laws, up-to-date statistics and academic research reports.

Launches AAASeniors.com, a resource for seniors and families of older drivers. The site offers content and resources based on extensive research.

Announces that it will work to pass laws banning text messaging by drivers in all 50 states by 2013. AAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety launch legislative and communications campaigns to reduce distracted driving and improve safety on U.S. roadways.

About this time

Unemployment in the U.S. reaches 8.1 percent in February, the highest rate since 1983. President Obama signs a $787 billion stimulus package into law with the hope that the package will create 3.5 million jobs for Americans in the next two years.

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