Rules of the road when it comes to car horns

Road Rants

Florida's laws define when it's okay to honk - and when it's illegal

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – In this week’s Road Rants report we’re answering the question, to honk or not to honk.

8 On Your Side viewer Stephanie’s Road Rant is specific to one scenario, but it’s likely we’ve all been on the receiving end of a honk or two that we didn’t feel was necessary! Stephanie writes:

“My rant is about people who honk at cars that yield to pedestrians. This has happened to me several times. I think these drivers can’t see, or don’t care, that someone is crossing and assume I’m stopped for no reason. Are there fines that the drivers of honking cars can face?”

Florida does have a law about when you can or can’t lay on the horn, but it’s subject to interpretation.

The law says you can honk when it’s reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation of your vehicle, and that’s it.

You can read the law at this link.

Most drivers could reason their way out of the $30 ticket for bad horn use, considered a non-moving violation. But, there are other reasons to think twice before beeping. It could be interpreted as evidence of road rage, or you could startle other drivers and cause a crash.

As a general rule, use your horn sparingly, and only when you’re trying to avoid an accident.

Thanks to Stephanie for the question! If you have a Road Rant, send it to, or find me on Facebook or Twitter at @WFLAMeredyth.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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