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When Is It Okay To Honk Your Horn?

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Honk the horn at the neighbors

Image by roger jones via Flickr

A couple weeks ago I was picking my kids up from school and got there about 10 minutes early, but there was no parking so I had to wait on the road.

Their school has a horseshoe drive way  where you enter on the west end and drive through to the front of the school to drop off and pick up your children then exit on the east side.  There is only room for about 25 cars so sometimes all the spots are full and you have to wait until the cars start leaving before you can pull in.  If you do have to wait on the road, you are supposed to pull off to the right so cars can still drive by.

When I arrived there was a car already waiting to turn left into the school. This car was right in the lane, but I pulled off to the side.  Cars would pull up next to me behind the first car waiting for him to turn left since he had his turn signal going.  After they realized he wasn’t going to budge, they would go around him on the left.

The cars started lining up behind me, but what was odd was they didn’t all pull off the road like I had.  The minivan directly behind my pulled half-way off and the truck behind her was in the lane completely like the car in front of me.

As you might be able to tell this annoys me, but that isn’t want I wanted the post to be about.  It is about what happened next.

Because the long line of  cars were parked in the lane, other cars that wanted to keep driving passed the school had to pass on the left and into possible on coming cars.

There was a car that passed the line and continued on, but there was another car coming and this lady laid on the horn!  It was obvious there were cars stuck and the only way to go was in the other lane, as she herself had to do, but rather than slowing down a tad, she decided to honk.

A horn is a warning device not a revenge device or a way to express your anger.  Here is another story on the matter.

I was listening to a radio show and the host was telling a story about driving.  I don’t remember the whole story, but the part that stuck with me was when he said I guy did something dumb, but the host had to honk to let the guy know that he knew he did something dumb.  I can’t remember what it was exactly, but it he didn’t honk as a warning.

I get honked at a few times a month because of where I live.  I live on a the main road and there are four lanes I have to go through when I turn left to get out of my drive way.  Often the cars that are turning right at the light do not go in their corresponding lanes which causes problems for me.  I see an opening and I turn into the center lane. Even with me there I get honked at as cars continue to turn into the lane I need to get in glaring at me as if I just ran over their dog.  Where is the courtesy?

There are many driving frustrations that come up, but excessive use of the horn is right up there as one of the top.  Did you know that you can get arrested if you honk too much?

This is from UPI

The case began in 2006, when Helen Immelt, 52, received a letter from her neighborhood homeowners association in Monroe saying the chickens she had been keeping in her yard violated covenants and neighbor John Vorderbrueggen confessed to her that he had been the complaining party, The Seattle Times reported Tuesday.

The following morning just before 6 a.m., Immelt parked her car outside of Vorderbrueggen’s house and honked her horn continuously for 10 minutes, authorities said. Vorderbrueggen recognized Immelt’s car and called 911. He soon received a call from Immelt to make sure he heard the wake-up call.

Authorities said Immelt returned for a second round of honking at 8 a.m.

Police said they confronted and warned Immelt about the honking. She was arrested on a noise violation after driving past Vorderbrueggen’s house and honking three times while he was giving a statement to police.

Immelt lost a jury trial on the noise violation and claimed in her appeal that the horn honking was constitutionally protected free speech.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Richard Thorpe disagreed. “Horn honking per se is not free speech,” he said in his decision. “Horn honking which is done to annoy or harass others is not speech.”

So there you go. Honking your horn at someone is not speech.  If somebody annoys you while driving turn it into something positive by saying something like, “Nice Move!” Or something similar.

Or you can blog about it to vent your frustration. :)

Do you have any annoying horn honking stories you want to share? Do you disagree?  Post a comment below.

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