Enforce No Honking Law in NYC


Elisabeth Grace wrote an article in the Complaint Box section of the New York Times that has to express traffic etiquette views of a substantial percentage of our population AND plus that she figured out a way to use the word troglodyte in a seamless non-contrived way! I think Elisabeth used troglodyte in the humanoid monster Dungeons and Dragons context. 

We were in Brooklyn and noticed the $350 fine for honking in residential area signs. Plenty of honking in the area near Suny hospital, but did not observe a single citation issued as we frequently walked near the Winthrop subway entry station. 

Don’t Honk Sign Near Winthrop Subway Station In Brooklyn

BTW, I hope Elisabeth Grace has found employment as a writer. Her writing style is lucid and informative. 

I have a burning question for those clueless, self-absorbed troglodytes who honk their horns in residential neighborhoods. Why, because the person in front of you doesn’t move within a millisecond of a green light, do you feel that slamming your jarring, piercing horn does anything other than upset everyone else in the vicinity — particularly those whose right to the quiet enjoyment of their residential premises is being violated?

Last fall, yet another study reported that traffic noise is a health hazard, causing stress and hypertension in people who live near it. A honking horn is not just a noise ordinance violation; it’s a direct assault on the health of those exposed to it.

In Los Angeles, where I once lived, idling engines and crawling vehicles are a fact of life, but unlike New Yorkers, Angelenos seem to realize that no good can come from hitting a horn in standstill traffic. That, and the fact that some years ago it was demonstrated that you could get shot for honking, cutting off a driver on the freeway or any other automotive act of aggression. Talk about an effective deterrent!

The “deterrent” at the intersection where my gracious 1940s Queens co-op sits is a small sign that reads: DON’T HONK: $350 PENALTY. The sign, credited to the Department of Environmental Protection, is generally ignored. Despite several calls to 311 and the local precinct complaining of lack of enforcement, I’ve yet to see a single driver cited.

I once asked two police officers stopped at the intersection how often they cited drivers for honking violations. They said that they used to issue citations, but that the tickets were inevitably challenged in traffic court. Apparently, the killer question is: “Did you actually see the driver hit the horn?” And because they hadn’t seen the offense, but merely heard it, the case was dismissed. Is this burden of proof ridiculous or what?

In the time it’s taken me to type the above paragraph, the city could have made $1,400 — at one intersection alone.

Elisabeth Grace, a recently laid-off promo writer/producer and advertising copywriter, lives in Forest Hills and would rather be working than ranting.


1 comment on “Enforce No Honking Law in NYCAdd yours →

  1. So it is hard to take the advice of Adam Dachis with respect to noise making neighbors. This inconsiderate dude admits that he got the urge to sing and play his guitar after midnight(essentially the definition of a noisey disrespectful human being). If he owned his own home on a detached lot, then cool. However, he was an apartment dweller who is forcing his cotenants to knock on his door late at night telling him they have an early am job to go to in about 5 hours!

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