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Highway Patrol Service
Automobile Club of Southern California

1930s Auto Club highway patrol in Southern California

1930s Auto Club highway patrol Harley Davidsons in Southern California. Along with assisting motorists, patrollers used cameras to investigate traffic crashes.
Courtesy Automobile Club of Southern California.

In 1924, several years before the establishment of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Automobile Club of Southern California established the roadside assistance Highway Patrol Service. At that time, Auto Club trucks (and later motorcycles) with Highway Patrol emblazoned on their doors began to patrol the roads of California in search of disabled club members. When the state established the CHP in 1947, the Auto Club agreed to give up the term Highway Patrol for use by the state’s new law enforcement agency. This, naturally, led to ribbing by other law enforcement agencies. CHP officers were good-naturedly referred to as AAA with a Badge or Auto Club with a Gun.