Is it Illegal for New York Drivers to Obsessively Honk the Horn?
Lower Central Avenue can be a relatively busy part of Albany and at times, there can be some gridlock, congestion, slow-moving traffic, and the occasional sparks of road rage. And luckily for me, I get to see and HEAR, just about all of it.
But the same can be said for just about any city in the Capital Region, and throughout New York State.
There are plenty of folks laying on their horns on Wolf Road in Colonie, State Street in Schenectady, Rt. 146 in Clifton Park and don't even get me started on Hoosick Street in Troy! Everyone seems to be in hurry, and hardly anyone is polite.
Honkin' in the USA!
But, is "excessive honking" illegal in New York?
Section 24-237 of the New York 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.”
Yes, it's ILLEGAL
So, the short answer is "Yes", it's technically only legal to honk your horn in the case of an emergency.
“You can report noise from a vehicle caused by an idling engine, loud music, or horn honking,” according to Verifythis.com.
“Horn honking is only allowed as a warning of danger," so a few toots here and there won't get anyone in trouble, it's the ones who lay on the horn to be as obnoxious as possible, those are one's who may get popped.
Drivers who are caught inappropriately using their horns could face a fine of $350 in New York City, but fines may vary depending on where you live.
Do people get fined for honking their horns excessively?
It's hard to find data on the number of fines lobbied against motorists who are habitual horn-blowers, but a Massachusetts woman was given a ticket by police officers back in 2019 for "excessive and unnecessary" use of her horn.
The woman who got the ticket claimed she was swerving to avoid the cop, but nonetheless, was given a $55 dollar fine.
5 New Laws You Should Know For 2023 In New York State
LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?
17 New Laws in New York You Should Know