Alberta has grown quite a bit since it first became a province in 1905, and we’re proud to say that we’ve grown right along with it. From the early days of the Automobile Act to today, explore a timeline of our history, or watch a video on our History of Advocacy.
The first “horseless carriage” arrives in Alberta, a Locomobile, driven by Billy Cochrane.
Alberta passes the Automobile Act, setting speed limits of 10 mph in towns and 20 mph in the country.
The first long-distance auto trip is made over the entire Edmonton-Calgary Trail — it takes two days.
Good Roads Association holds it first convention in Leduc, spawning auto clubs that would later become the AMA.
Alberta establishes minimum age limits for drivers – 16 for men, and 18 for women.
Alberta government creates an official highways branch.
Twelve auto clubs from across Canada join together to form the Canadian Automobile Association.
Alberta now has 29,000 licensed drivers, up from 41 car owners in 1906.
Alberta passes its second Highways Act. The provincial government agrees to share road costs with municipalities, paying 75% for main roads and 25% for “market” or district roads.
A provincial tax of two cents a gallon is added to the price of gasoline.
AMA is officially incorporated on November 30, with the merger of the Edmonton Automobile and Good Roads Association, and the Calgary Auto Club.
First Road Reports are broadcast on radio.
AMA offers six garages that will provide free emergency road service.
AMA begins to sell licence plates, at 50 cents each.
All Albertans are now required to have a driver’s licence (Driving exams, however, aren’t implemented until 1937).
AMA offers highway patrols on Harley-Davidson motorcycles to help distressed motorists.
School Safety PatrolSchool safety patrol program begins in Calgary.
The first white line on the Calgary to Edmonton highway is completed.
AMA Driver Education begins in Calgary, using the first dual-control cars in Canada.
Oil is discovered at Leduc. Over the next 10 years, Alberta’s provincial government spends $280 million on highways.
Federal government calls for a plan to build the Trans-Canada Highway. It isn’t completed until 1963.
AMA begins free hotel/motel reservations services, helping members overcome poor telephone communication with Alberta’s mountain resorts.
AMA crest with the Alberta coat of arms gives way to the blue and red oval of the CAA.
AMA begins selling personal accident insurance.
AMA begins to offer automobile insurance and enters the travel business.
Hunting and fishing licences are sold at AMA.
AMA membership breaks the 200,000 mark.
Premier Ernest C. Manning opens AMA’s first provincial headquarters at Kingsway Branch, in Edmonton.
Membership rates rise for the first time since 1929 – from $10 to $13.
Homeowner and tenant insurance for members is introduced.
AMA becomes the first CAA club to offer protection against loss or theft on credit cards.
Marriage licences sold for the first time.
AMA begins compulsory seat belt use campaign, an issue on which the membership is evenly split. Continues for 15 years, ending with provincial legislation in 1986.
Highway signs go metric.
AMA introduces travel accident insurance.
AMA Consumer Hotline opens.
Calgary is hit by a massive hailstorm; AMA Insurance loses more than half a million dollars.
Alberta introduces “Starting Early,” an alcohol awareness program for youths.
First President’s Cruise to the Caribbean.
AMA membership passes 400,000.
AMA launches MISSION POSSIBLE Traffic Safety Initiative.
AMA launches its first website.
AMA blazes yet another new trail by becoming the first automobile association in North America to offer members mortgages.
AMA celebrates its 75th anniversary, ending the year with over 600,000 members.
AMA membership exceeds 700,000.
The provincial government develops and adopts the Alberta Traffic Safety Plan, a framework for action to reduce collisions, with input from AMA.
AMA now has over 980,000 members.