Abuse of car horns has been an issue in several parts of the world, particularly in Africa. It gets so frustrating and upsetting when drivers with impunity, choose to blare their horns unpredictably without thinking about the health dangers it brings to the next person. Several people have had their temperature or Blood pressure (BP) go up, on hearing the uproarious horns suddenly on the streets.
Beeping– as some people call it, is illegal, particularly for no good explanation. Nonetheless, most drivers couldn’t care less with regards to the illicit acts, and go on to upset others with an excessive and loud honks. Blaring your vehicle horn can be a necessary action at some points while travelling to or from a destination. The only actual legal use of a car horn is in relation to safety.
Consequences can happen if one sounds their horn out of context. Taking everything into account, in numerous countries, if you sound beyond a specific level, you’re a guilty party. For example, in 2018 the Ghana Police Service made an announcement, asking all drivers in Ghana, especially commercial drivers to cease from that act.
Abuse Of Siren And Car Horns
In view of the growing abuse of sirens and car horns within the Accra Metropolis and other parts of the country, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Chief Executive Officer of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) will jointly brief the media on enforcement actions being taken to stop the menace.
The IGP and DVLA Chief Executive at the time, engaged with the media on a question and answer session to enable them address public concerns through the media space on the issue.
In The United States:
If someone is driving slower than you think is acceptable, excessively honking your horn is not the answer. It is technically illegal and can result in a fine, According to several police departments around the world. Some people use their horns excessively and violates the law by honking from a stationary position.
For instance, in the U.S, the Highway Law Code says that, motorists mustn’t blast their horn “aggressively” as it’s not a tool to alarm others “without viable and reasonable intention”. In the eyes of the law, it’s also illegal to sound your horn while driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am.
The Highway Code also states that, it is illegal to use a horn on a moving vehicle on a restricted road, basically a road that has street lights and a 30 mph limit.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) can issue tickets of up to a $350 fine for unnecessary use of the horn, or any other noise coming from a car, such as a car alarm.
Section 24-237 of New York City’s code says: “No person shall operate or use or cause to be operated or used any claxon installed on a motor vehicle, except as a sound signal of imminent danger or in connection with use as an audible motor vehicle burglar alarm.”
In fact, you can report noise from a vehicle brought about by an engine, loud music, or horn sounding, in certain parts of America.
In The UK:
Here, it is also illegal to blare your horn out of animosity. Except if it’s to caution other drivers of your presence. A horn should possibly be utilized when warning someone of any danger because of one more vehicle or some other sort of risk, but not to show your anger or annoyance.
How Loud Should A Car Horn Be?
In the United States, the most extreme lawful decibel level for a car horn on a passenger car is 100-110. A train horn has a decibel level of 130-150. All other states have a line in their vehicle laws and regulations that states a car horn can not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound.
If a pedestrian happens to walk just right in front of your car, or seems like they are about to do so, honking your horn so loud may somehow psychologically confuse the pedestrian to perhaps do the ‘undoable’. Sometimes, slamming on your breaks, could disrupt those behind you. But the situations vary.
Meanwhile, many Motorists argue that honking car horns is a form of expression or protest protected by the First Amendment. But Courts have mostly rejected this argument.
The law says — Don’t beep your horn in anger, and avoid extended sounding of your horn, to avoid any potential citations for excessive noise.