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In this paper, we first identify some unique design requirements in the aspects of security and privacy preservation for communications between different communication devices in vehicular ad hoc networks. We then propose a secure and privacy-preserving protocol based on group signature and identity (ID)-based signature techniques. We demonstrate that the proposed protocol cannot only guarantee the requirements of security and privacy but can also provide the desired traceability of each vehicle in the case where the ID of the message sender has to be revealed by the authority for any dispute event. Extensive simulation is conducted to verify the efficiency, effectiveness, and applicability of the proposed protocol in various application scenarios under different road systems.