What is Autoliitto, the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland?
The Automobile and Touring Club of Finland is the only nationwide association for private motoring in Finland. Since 1972 it has continued the work started by its two founder organizations The Finnish Automobile Club and Auto and Touring Club of Finland.
The Autoliitto (AL) has over 120 000 members, and about a hundred different associations and co-operates, which include thousands of motorists.
The field organization of the AL is made up of 78 registered local clubs which are united into 17 districts. The AL office is located in Helsinki. In addition to that there are over ten service outlets around the country.
Targets of AL
According to its objectives the AL is an association established to look after the interests, services and hobbies of individual motorists. Its activities include the entire field of road traffic as well as motoring both in Finland and abroad.
As an interest group the AL plays an active role by trying to create such a traffic flow which takes into consideration all parties’needs on the roads and streets everywhere. The AL puts forward proposals and suggestions to various authorities e.g. Parliament, government offices, the police. Through its district representatives the AL makes contact with county and municipal authorities. The AL acts to the benefit of all motor vehicle traffic of Finland in the following fields: taxation, traffic legislation, touring, road building and maintenance and car insurance.
A rational car tax – financing of the roads
An essential part of the AL’s functions is to try to reduce and rationalize the heavy taxation that all motoring suffers from. The AL considers that a far more substantial portion of the funds collected from the motorists should be spent on improving road conditions and on covering the costs created by the motor traffic. These funds should be spent on building and maintaining of safe, economical and environmentally acceptable roads. Special cycle paths should be built, and the traffic control and the techniques should be improved.
The AL is continually working to improve the regional cooperation in all matters concerning the traffic.
Prevention of disadvantages caused by motoring
In Finland the environmental damage caused by road traffic is not serious compared with other countries in Western Europe. However serious attention has to be paid to it. In the year 1995 AL published its environmental policy. The AL considers that the government should encourage the supply of new cars which are not environmentally risky through tax reliefs and not through penalty fees. This would also mean the renewal of fleet of cars.
These examples demonstrate that the decisions on traffic policy should be made according to the suggestions put forward by the AL, as they meet the demands of the modern world. For this reason motorists should take more interest in and make every effort to join their own organization The Automobile and Touring Club of Finland and support the efforts being made to improve the position of motoring in the Finland of today and tomorrow.