Why combine motorists in Europe and America
Earlier this week, the front pages of German newspapers were full of headlines about the scandal in one of the largest non-governmental organizations in the country – an all-German Automobile Club (ADAC). Articles about fraud during the vote for the best car of the year eclipsed all other news stories. “Lenta.ru,” tried to figure out what caused such interest to car companies and the role they play in the Western countries.
The scandal erupted when it was revealed that the results of the “Yellow Angel”, which is sometimes referred to as “road” Oscar “,” were rigged . Press has learned that for the winner in 2014 – Volkswagen Golf – spoke not 34299 people and ten times less – 3409. Moreover, the competition organizers exaggerated number of voters in 2013 and 2012, and may have done it before.
Head of Public Relations ADAC Ramshtetter Michael (Michael Ramstetter) immediately admitted his mistakes and resigned, but this is not much help. Hundreds of drivers began to refuse membership in the club. There are even suspicions that ADAC could act out of selfish reasons in the interests of various automakers.
Dishonest calculations in ADAC not only been widely discussed in the media. This topic has been affected even at a press briefing the German government. Excitement around the organization can not be understood unless you know what role society play road in Europe and America.
According to various estimates, from 40 to 70 percent of drivers in European countries and the United States are members of automobile clubs. This means that if your car broke down on the road, if she got the battery or it will not start for any other reason, you call in a special service breakdown of your society and specialists come to you-mechanics. In Germany, according to ADAC , in 84 percent of cases eliminate the problem on the spot. If a motorist does not get lucky in the remaining 16 percent, his car on the tow truck sent to the nearest service station. In some cases, you can even provide a replacement vehicle.
Responsible drivers pay for membership in the club, even if they do not have to regularly use his services. It is worth not-so-big money, but in the case of failure can significantly save on car repairs and evacuation.
All this greatly contributed to the rising popularity of automotive companies. Now members of the American Automobile Association are 54 million people in the U.S. and Canada in the German club ADAC consist of 18 million people. In Japan Automobile Federation and the Automobile Association of Great Britain enters a slightly lower number of drivers.
Over time, the clubs began to provide in addition to purely technical assistance and other services yet. As an independent organization, they conduct their own tests of vehicles, produce maps and guides to roadside motels and restaurants. Club members receive discounts when renting cars and insurance, as well as a variety of other services.
Clubs motorists for more than one hundred years of existence, has occupied an important place in the social life of their countries. Activity on most large organizations is necessary to dwell.
Bundesverband automobile club: “angels” on helicopters
18 million members of the All-German Automobile Club (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club, ADAC) account for about 20 percent of the German population (which accounts for 570 cars per 1000 inhabitants). This union of motorists, which arose in 1903, is the most influential company of its kind in Europe. As the CEO of Russian automotor Konstantin Alexeev, membership in ADAC «literally inherited and is a sign of good manners.”
The minimum annual membership fee ADAC is 49 euros. In case of failure on the road to the members of the club travels to emergency service vehicles, painted in bright yellow color. For this reason, the car nicknamed ADAC “Yellow Angel”.
ADAC regularly conducts various research and testing machines for safety and reliability. In addition to the acclaimed competition “Yellow Angel”, the club publishes a rating of reliability of cars, conducts its own crash tests, examines the state of roads and various modes of transport (even, for example , ferries). German experts check and car accessories – in particular, correlate and experience on special mannequins different models of child seats.
At ADAC have their own publications on vehicles, foremost of which is «ADACmotorwelt». The magazine is printed 13 million copies of the edition, which significantly exceeds that for other German media. The abundance of advertisements in «ADACmotorwelt» testifies about the solvency of its target audience.
A special pride of the German Automobile Club is an organization of air rescue assistance. In the case of severe accidents and accidents in remote areas or in traffic congestion doctors get to the victims by helicopter. ADAC Air Rescue Service is the largest private service of its kind in the country, it belongs to 49 helicopters. With an extensive network of heliports in Germany doctors can get anywhere in the country for 20 minutes after the call.
The American Automobile Association: lobbyist security
The American Automobile Association (American Automobile Association, AAA) has many offices in the U.S. and Canada. Its members, as has been said, are 54 million people. This is not surprising, as the U.S. considered one of the most automobilized countries in the world. Members serve 40,000 employees in 1100 offices located in the Americas.
AAA was founded in 1902, when the U.S. was 23,000 vehicles and 17 million horses. The club sought to build more power quality roads suitable for vehicles, as well as providing technical and legal assistance to motorists. From ancient times, society is also educational work: children explain how to behave on the road, and adults – to what dangerous consequences may result drunken driving.
The minimum membership fee of AAA is from 21 to 51 dollars a year depending on the department. For wider range of services, Americans will have to pay from 48 to 96 dollars. Club members are invited to provide technical assistance road repairs in authorized workshops, emergency evacuation vehicle charging and battery replacement and much more.
Like other societies and associations, the American club publishes its maps and guidebooks is. Among the reference books AAA released even a single book on how to travel with pets.
Lawyers AAA monitor changes in federal law and the laws of different states. In this Association announces its priority safety of drivers, especially minors and the elderly, and thus often support measures that among motorists may well be considered unpopular. For example, in 1982, the organization advocated limiting federal speed limit on the road 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour), and more recently – for the increasing number of cameras that capture such traffic violations as running a red light.
Automobile Association (Automobile Association, AA) of the UK has slightly fewer members than the German – 14 million. The history of this organization started in 1905. Originally it consisted of only 100 enthusiasts, but with the spread of automobiles and motorcycles by 1914 the number of members increased to 83 thousand.
Fighting “ambushes” Roads
It is noteworthy that since the inception of one of the main objectives of British Motorists Association has been fighting with the police “ambush” on the roads. By harsh laws beginning of XX century for speeding (the limit in 1903 was 20 miles per hour, that is 32 kilometers per hour) could end up in jail for four weeks or get a serious penalty. Police used it.
In the “ambush” usually involved three law enforcement officers, who were hiding in the bushes on a straight stretch of road. When the car drove past the first of them, he waved his handkerchief, giving a signal to his colleague. He timed with a stopwatch, how long the car caught up with him, and expected speed of the car. If a violation occurred, the second policeman to alert third, which slowed the car and the driver fined.
At the beginning of XX century Mechanics Association toured the streets of British cities on bicycles. They determined which areas are particularly dangerous roads, and help drivers who have broken their vehicles. The Association was also involved in the installation of road signs , as these functions are not assumed the local authorities.
From the outset, the British club also engaged autotravel and print your own card. Gradually Association has developed its own system of evaluation of hotels, which operates to this day. Rating is based on regular inspections anonymous.
Currently British AA membership will cost 32 pounds sterling a year. For the money, the driver can obtain technical assistance on-site or in the nearest service center.
In Russia, the first club of motorized vehicles also emerged in the early XX century. At this time in St. Petersburg born Russian automobile company, which then became the name of the Emperor wearing. However, after 1917 this club, like most other such societies ceased to exist.
Oldest automobile club in Russia at the moment is the All-Russian Society of motorists, created by the Government of the Russian Federation in 1973. Since Soviet times, the organization owned car parks, driving schools and avtoekspertnye offices in various regions of the country. However, no independence of public organizations in the Soviet Union, however.