NMA vs. AAA

  • February 4, 2024

You have probably heard of AAA. You may never have heard of the NMA. The former is the American Automobile Association. The latter is the National Motorists Association.

In italics to emphasize the difference.

Triple A blandly references “automobiles” in its title. NMA specifically references motorists – the people who drive automobiles.  It’s an important distinction – if you are a motorist. If you care about driving. As opposed to being someone who owns an automobile and maybe wants a roadside assistance plan.

The NMA does not offer roadside assistance plans. It assists motorists – by advocating for their interests. One such successful effort being the repeal – after almost 20 years of drivers being mulcted over it – of the so-called 55 MPH National Maximum Speed Limit, which was imposed by the federal government as a “fuel saving” measure that greasily somehow morphed into a “safety” issue. Probably because it was easier to justify mulcting motorists for “unsafe” driving than for using “too much” gas (according to the government, which wasn’t paying people’s gas bills).

And so it was that for almost 20 years, driving at speeds that had been legal – and so, presumably, safe – became illegal “speeding.” Millions of people were mulcted over those years – and not only by the government (via the issuance of  “speeding” tickets) but also by the insurance mafia, which used those “speeding” tickets as evidence of “unsafe” driving to justify raising what they charged people for the “coverage” they couldn’t say no, thanks to.

If you were driving during this dismal era, you probably thought Drive 55 was forever. It sure felt like it, every time you went for a drive.

It’d probably still feel that way, were it not the NMA, which lobbied doggedly for the repeal of the 55 MPH NMSL.

This finally happened in 1995 and since then, Americans have been able to legally drive at speeds that were legal back in the early 1970s (before the imposition of the NMSL) again. Millions of people have not been mulcted via tickets for driving 65 or 70 MPH on the highway, as you were able to legally drive back in the early ’70s – and insurance “adjustments” have been harder to make now that most people aren’t getting tickets for “speeding” as often as people did during the NMSL era.

Triple A had nothing to do with it.

Yet not many know of NMA’s role in getting rid of it. If you’re reading this, now you do.

You might also want to know that NMA – unlike Triple A – is currently advocating for motorists’ rights, including the right to travel freely, by car. And to be free to choose the kind of car that meets your (rather than the government’s) needs and wants.

Triple A may have “automobile” in its name but what about the motorists who drive them? Well, it offers roadside assistance programs, help with booking travel, even merchandise. There is a whole section devoted to – wait for it! – “safety” on the Triple A web page. There’s also a section about Triple A’s commitment to ESG:

“We deliver value for our Members by investing financial and human resources to address social and environmental needs. This empowers our teams and builds partnerships that strengthen our impact in the communities where we live and serve. Our annual Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report is now available to highlight club activities and the progress our Organization has made in these core areas.”

Italics added. “Environmental and social needs” having what, exactly, to do with motorists’ rights? With driving?

Well, a great deal, actually. In terms of minimizing those rights and corralling driving. As via assertions that the “climate” is “changing” (note the curious lack of specificity) that require us to drive less and even – ultimately – give up driving altogether. You’ll never find ESG (or DEI) on the NMA website. Nor in the pages of its newsletter, wherein you’ll find the latest news about the threats to your driving rights and how to oppose them.

Including the intellectual ammunition needed to do that – such as data about the safety of right-on-red and the danger of traffic signals timed so as to trap as many “red light runners” as possible via automated camera enforcement and blink-of-an-eye yellow lights. The NMA understands that smoothly flowing traffic makes for safer driving and that courteous driving (e.g., not being a left lane hog and yielding to faster moving traffic) makes for less stressful driving.

NMA can also connect you with a traffic law attorney who understands that “speed” doesn’t “kill.”

But that traffic court can cost you a lot.

The take-home point being that the NMA actually cares about motorists and their rights. It is the only organization that’s opposed to the forces that are determined to do to owning and driving a car what has already been in many parts of this country to owning and using a gun. There is very apt corollary here. NMA is like GOA – Gun Owners of America. Triple A is like the NRA, which (like AAA) seems much more interested in making a buck off its members than protecting their interests.

If you’re a motorist looking for an outfit that gives a damn about motoring – as opposed to selling you roadside assistance or luggage while selling out your rights – check out the best motorists’ advocacy outfit you’ve probably never heard about.

Until just now.

. . .

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