Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. I have a person that likes to come by and honk the horn to the point it becomes annoying. Is there an ordinance that addresses excessive honking when it is not an emergency?
Dear Juneau Resident,
Only a goose is allowed to honk with abandon. A person doing so is breaking an ordinance or code but the violation carries a small fine, $20 to $25. That level of fine may not be enough to change the behavior of someone committed to acting like a...lets say 'goose'.
You might consider talking to person that is being honked at and asking them to have the honker stop the behavior. Ask yourself if the honker appears to you to be acting self-centered and immature. If that is the case the most powerful influence might be his or her friends, the ones being honked at.
If appropriate to the situation, and you can arrange it, the friend's parents calling the honker's parents might do the trick. Such an approach can often be more effective than a fine less that dinner for two in Juneau.
Now, there is something else that could be going on. In other countries, honking while driving is frequent and an accepted form of communication, including saying 'Hi'. If the honker is obviously mature in other areas of his or her life, approaching that person directly and pointing out, politely, the legal prohibitions against the behavior here might have an impact. If the driver was influenced by another social norm, he or she might be unaware of the annonyance they are causing.
City ordinance and state code say horns are for use when necessary to make driving safer. If someone is edging into your lane and you think you might be in his or her blind spot, a honk of the horn might help them notice you and prevent a collision. That would be the proper use of a horn.
Using a horn improperly is a $20 ticket under the city ordinance(72.04.210a) and a $25 ticket under state code (13AAC 04.210a). Below is the applicable language from CBJ ordinance 72.04.210(a).
"The driver of a motor vehicle shall, when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, give audible warning with a horn, but may not otherwise use the horn when upon a highway or other vehicular way or area."