NFHiB Spotlight

Spotlight: The Car Horn - A nuisance beyond the road?

The Car Horn: What a racket!

It struck me recently how many more instances of noise I can hear from local motorists and road-users with their varying assortments of 'motoring-orientated' noise. Cars are the main culprits, but excessively loud motorbikes, rumbling HGV's and rattling buses are often equally to blame. Has the 'rattle and roll' become louder or are we becoming more sensitive?

Most of us are subjected to hearing travelling 'hi-fi' equipment at some point during our week or the unnecessary revving of engines. You know the stuff, the 1000 watt speaker in the boot bass-system, minus the fluffy dice and the Sharon and Tracy sticker, but with the reverberation you can hear from a mile down the road to about 2 miles up it. The windows rattle and the bass is so intense it tingles through your body and deep into your head long after they’ve actually passed by.

But how often do we hear noise pollution in one of its most common form - the car horn?

Car Horn NoiseCar horns are another thing altogether and are frequently heard out of their proper place. You'd be forgiven if you thought (quite rightly) it was illegal to sound your horn between the hours of 11.30pm and 07.00am or in fact anytime when a vehicle is stationary, unless it happens to be in an emergency only. Put quite simply, motorists and other road users that consistently flaunt these legal guidelines by noisily sounding their horn outside these rules, are breaking the law.

But do many motorists actually take heed and consider the noise they could be creating? If this is you, please spare a thought for your neighbours and others, do you really need to sound that horn and potentially disturb a lot of people?

Taxi drivers aren't the only culprits, visitors arriving and leaving residential areas often sound their car horns to 'announce' their entrance and exit. Is it really necessary, is it justified, and why do it at 7am or at 2am waking up local communities who are still sleeping?

The more responsible 'cabbies' may frown and I apologise to them and don’t wish to stereotype the profession, but Taxi-orientated (you name it, the ‘black cabs’, private-hire vehicles and other such assorted taxis) horn blarting has to take the main responsibility for much of the car-horn noise in our residential areas.

Taxi CabDo some even bother to get out the car and knock on the door to inform a passenger of their arrival? I wonder if this is a thing of the past, a fact of yester-year where taxi drivers seemed more considerate, more thoughtful and generally more inclined to offer a courteous service rather than the 'cram them in', go-as-fast as possible attitude we often see today.

It's surely not so hard for taxi drivers or other visitors to announce their arrival by knocking on your door, or even telephoning to inform they are ready to collect you.

Maybe I'm being romantic and taxi drivers have always been the same noisy blaring drivers they've always been? Your area could have something to do with it as far as the 'private hire car' or taxi is concerned, maybe some built-up areas suffer more than others, maybe some parts of Britain are more susceptible than others? - Let us know and leave your comments.

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