Fed up of getting the horn?

A single reed bulb horn.

The BBC posted a story today about taxi drivers in Newcastle being told off by the local council. They’ve been *gasp* sounding their horns instead of walking up to doors and knocking when collecting a fare. Obviously taxi drivers rarely sound their horns at silly times of night, waking you or your children up when picking up booked passengers.

Then I wondered why the council were getting involved. It’s not technically a noise pollution issue. It’s a road safety or driver behaviour issue and therefore – I believe – more a matter for the police. After all, it’s in breach of conditions laid down by the Highway Code. I found the relevant section at direct.gov.uk:

The horn. Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively. You MUST NOT use your horn

  • while stationary on the road
  • when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am

except when another road user poses a danger.

So it rules out late-night pickups, early-morning pickups and any driver who’s vehicle isn’t actually moving at the time he beeps. Oh, and the fact that it’s to warn other road users of your presence – not the people in number 23.

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