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Old 09-21-07, 10:22 AM   #1
The Human Car
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Against the law to lay on your horn – makes for bike friendliness?

I just read a thread where it is against the law to lay on your horn in NYC which got me wondering if there is a relationship between allowing people to harass cyclists by honking and people harassing cyclists by other more serious means such as swerving and passing too close. Or it could be just as simple as honking adds to the general angst which then begets more obnoxious behavior which yields more angst and so on.

So what are your thoughts on this and would you consider an anti-honking bill a pro-bike bill?

Ref: http://bikeforums.net/showpost.php?p...85&postcount=9
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Old 09-21-07, 12:01 PM   #2
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While driving at my job I had some stupid car of teenagers lay on their horn behind me for a good 5-7 seconds, I so badly wanted to brake check them being as they were obviously being impatient ******.


It can be way more than cyclists, a small honk gets your attention, a long honk is being a jerk and can start some of that road rage crap.
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Old 09-21-07, 12:07 PM   #3
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Arizona has this law:
http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/28/00954.htm
"B. If reasonably necessary to ensure the safe operation of a motor vehicle, the driver shall give an audible warning with the driver's horn but shall not otherwise use the horn when on a highway."

That's enough for me. I don't think any additional horn law will affect cycling in any way. A driver could already be in violation of above if honking for harrassment.

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Old 09-21-07, 12:14 PM   #4
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This is not a new law, it was part of the uniform vehicle code almost 40 years ago when I took drivers Ed, and I'm pretty sure it was old back then.
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Old 09-21-07, 12:20 PM   #5
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This is not a new law, it was part of the uniform vehicle code almost 40 years ago when I took drivers Ed, and I'm pretty sure it was old back then.
I didn't intend to imply it was unique to AZ or a new law.

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Old 09-21-07, 12:20 PM   #6
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This is not a new law, it was part of the uniform vehicle code almost 40 years ago when I took drivers Ed, and I'm pretty sure it was old back then.


Exactly like most states. You can honk for safety reasons, not stupidity. You're the fourth person in 56 years I have talked to that already knew that. One learned from a ticket.

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Old 09-21-07, 12:23 PM   #7
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I found this out in highschool, 1982, when our class president honked at an officer conducting traffic. The officer politely explained the law to him, whilst writing the ticket.
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Old 09-21-07, 01:10 PM   #8
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I found this out in highschool, 1982, when our class president honked at an officer conducting traffic. The officer politely explained the law to him, whilst writing the ticket.
Five.
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Old 09-22-07, 05:40 AM   #9
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I am not certain of any correlation between prolonged honking (or non-honking) and cycling safety. The post you cited was mine, and I trust (although I can never be sure) that I got my point across that NYC is, on the whole, a much more pleasant place to be since agressive enforcement of that law, along with other provisions, began. I don't live in NYC (my kids do), but, I associate these changes with Mayor Guilliani's administration (you can be the judge as to whether he accurately takes credit for the changes and whether or not his tactics were fair or his motives pure . . . I'm just commenting on the results that are apparent to this frequent guest of the city).

In my college years, I made numerous trips to NYC, and would never have thought to ride a bike there then. The place was total cacophony. There was a constant din of horns blaring, frequent traffic log jams that encouraged even more horn honking. People were rude or I was naive or lots of both.

Today, visiting NYC on a weekend is more like visiting a crowded resort, not unlike New Hope in Pennsylvania. The streets may be packed with wall to wall pedestrians, but, for the most part, folks are just going about their business. Cars go to and fro, but there is very little of the honking, and, if you are driving, allowing yourself to get caught in the center of an intersection can lend you a hefty fine, so those massive traffic logjams are a thing of the past.

I am not certain one is any safer as a result, but, facing the danger is certainly a much more pleasant experience.

Caruso
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Old 09-22-07, 11:39 AM   #10
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I had a teenager driving around with his girlfriend honk at me as i was riding on a very narrow shoulder of a very busy road, he was stopped at an intersection perpindicular to me and honked at me as i was crossing in front of his car because he thought it would be funny to try to scare me and presumably make me crash. I didnt think it was as funny as he thought it was apparently so when i circled back around to confront him as he was still waiting at the intersection, i peddled up to his car window which he refused to roll down as he sat inside chuckling at me and asked him if he thought it was funny to try to endanger my life like that. He wouldnt respond and just kept laughing...
so i politely put my foot forcefully into the door of "his" (obviously mommy and daddy's) nearly new SUV and left a nice big dent in the side of it, Then i proceeded to take out my utility knife (i was riding on my way into work so just happened to have it) and slashed both of his drivers side tires... I then said, "Now thats what i consider funny" and rode away...
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Old 09-22-07, 12:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by xiamsammyx View Post
I had a teenager driving around with his girlfriend honk at me as i was riding on a very narrow shoulder of a very busy road, he was stopped at an intersection perpindicular to me and honked at me as i was crossing in front of his car because he thought it would be funny to try to scare me and presumably make me crash. I didnt think it was as funny as he thought it was apparently so when i circled back around to confront him as he was still waiting at the intersection, i peddled up to his car window which he refused to roll down as he sat inside chuckling at me and asked him if he thought it was funny to try to endanger my life like that. He wouldnt respond and just kept laughing...
so i politely put my foot forcefully into the door of "his" (obviously mommy and daddy's) nearly new SUV and left a nice big dent in the side of it, Then i proceeded to take out my utility knife (i was riding on my way into work so just happened to have it) and slashed both of his drivers side tires... I then said, "Now thats what i consider funny" and rode away...
i believe the first half of your story. the second half is what you would have liked to have done.
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Old 09-22-07, 12:54 PM   #12
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i believe the first half of your story. the second half is what you would have liked to have done.
+1

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Old 09-22-07, 06:04 PM   #13
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So my summary to date is:
  • We already have a “no over use of the horn” law on the books.
  • There is no data that says or implies that enforcing over use of the horn helps cycling conditions.
  • As a special interest group, cyclists have no opinion one way or the other whether the “no over use of the horn” law should be enforced.

It is the latter statement that I am interested in your opinion on. If it is a ho-hum topic here then it is a ho-hum topic.
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Old 09-22-07, 08:02 PM   #14
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Old 09-23-07, 01:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
So my summary to date is:
  • We already have a “no over use of the horn” law on the books.
  • There is no data that says or implies that enforcing over use of the horn helps cycling conditions.
  • As a special interest group, cyclists have no opinion one way or the other whether the “no over use of the horn” law should be enforced.

It is the latter statement that I am interested in your opinion on. If it is a ho-hum topic here then it is a ho-hum topic.
I have an opinion! I think laws like that should be enforced. I ride in an urban environment with lots of intersections, and these often have stop signs and traffic lights. I always find myself sprinting from red light to red light over a span of two blocks or so, then braking because of the need to stop. I will sprint even if I know I will have to come to a stop. The reason is that I ride as a part of traffic, and as such I feel the obligation to not hold up the driver/vehicle behind me. I know I will be honked at if I the motorist behind me wants to go faster than I am going, even if we are both heading towards a red light.

I know people on BF will be familiar with this sprint-and-stop pattern. And I get the impression that there's a consensus on BF that the following is true: motorists who are driving behind a bicycle become angry because they think they are being held up/slowed down, even if they are not.

I think that if laws like the one described in this post are enforced, it would be helpful for bicyclists who ride in traffic. The statement in bold above might still hold, but the strong enforcement and less horn use would reduce the communication of that fact to cyclists, and thereby insulate them from motorists' demands for automobile-like acceleration/top speeds/pacing/distancing on roads.

To the extent that a law like this would create an environment in which I no longer feel obligated to accommodate motorists' perceived need for keeping up with the car ahead of me, I would advocate its strict enforcement.

But maybe this is a ho-hum topic -- does anyone here want to be honked at for 10 continuous seconds?
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Old 09-23-07, 08:39 PM   #16
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I can’t help but wonder if there is a stigma attached to admitting being bothered by cars honking. One of the main things touted as prevention of road rage is to ignore honking.

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You can handle the situation like an adult and simply ignore the behavior. After all, why do you care what a perfect stranger thinks about you or your driving skills?
http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...revention.html
Yet excessively honking is a manifestation of road rage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_rage

So I think as a society we have accepted horn honking even if it is level 1 road rage after all if you are in your car what can they do to you? Let ‘em honk away for all the good it will do them. After all we are all adults here on the roadway …




And if your kids are uncomfortable riding their bikes in this environment well get ‘em a game machine and stick ‘em in the back of a SUV and play personal chauffeur, they’ll be happier for it. This is after all what any good parent would do.

When you introduce kids on bikes a lot of stuff we have come to accept about our roadways falls apart. But as a society we still cannot picture any reasonable adult letting their kid ride a bike for any sort of practical or utilitarian purpose so in short kids should not be allowed to ride their bike on any major street.

It seems to me that since we accept all this stuff honking is a non issue.
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Old 09-23-07, 11:21 PM   #17
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It's illegal to unecessarily sound a horn in Aus too. I think it should be enforced, but realise it's pretty much impossible to police. I just turn my headphones up and keep on ridin'.
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Old 09-24-07, 12:46 PM   #18
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Texas, too! I have written, "Sounding horn for non-emergency purpose."
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