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AAA-Rated Hotels Must Install Deadbolts, Peepholes

March 17, 1993

LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) _ Hotels and motels seeking the endorsement of the American Automobile Association will have to provide deadbolts and peepholes in their guest rooms, the auto club said Tuesday.

The requirement, which begins in August, affects 19,000 locations that already have the AAA’s approval. Also affected will be 3,000 hotels and motels in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

That represents two-thirds of accommodations in the United States. There are more than 28,000 lodging properties with 97 million hotel and motel rooms in the country, according to Smith Travel Research, an independent research firm.

″The whole issue of traveler safety has risen to the forefront of our concerns,″ AAA spokesman Geoff Sundstrom said.

The AAA lobbied successfully for a federal armed-carjacking statute and late last year alerted highway travelers to sniper attacks along Interstate 95 near Jacksonville.

″It is time for us to be a little more pro-active to ensure that our 34 million members and the traveling public be adequately protected,″ Sundstrom said.

The security requirements will be included in the 1995 editions of AAA’s 25 TourBooks for North America.

A spokesman for the Washington-based American Hotel & Motel Association said 80 percent of its members already have deadbolts and peepholes.

″What they’re asking for is fast becoming the standard in the industry,″ said Tom Waits, president of the Florida Hotel & Motel Association in Tallahassee.

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