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Monday, February 23, 2009

Honk vs HOOOONK

Maybe it's me, but drivers in the city don't just honk. They HOOONK. They lay on their horns long enough for you to sing at least half of the Air Force song. I'm not saying that they don't have a reason to honk- the drivers in this city are out of their minds. They pull out into traffic abruptly, change lanes by intentionally cutting you off, fly through lights that are red turning red...it's insane. And pedestrians don't help! It's one thing to walk when the sign says don't walk but the road is clear, it's a totally other thing to dart across the road hoping the cars will slow down or that you're faster than the car.

I've heard people honking their horns for such a length of time that the person doing the honking has already passed the immediate danger and is just hanging onto the honk, I'm guessing, just for spite! I read an article that I can't find right now that actually found that elongated honking is a distraction to the driver doing the honking. If your hand is on the horn for so long, it's not available for evasive action maneuvers.

I just don't get it.

And one other thought here- the city has posted all these signs about a $300 fine for honking. NOTE TO NY CITY: don't make a rule you cannot possibly enforce. This includes but is not limited to the honking sign and the "don't block the box" sign. I've seen how it works- that blocking the box thing. If you don't block the box (commit to getting through the light by sitting in the intersection), the cars in the lane next to you are more than happy to cut you off and sit in the box, thereby preventing you from getting any forward momentum until the next round of the green light, and earning you a hand full of HOOONKs from the lovely folks behind you. I've never seen anyone get pulled over or ticketed for this behavior. My theory is that the powers that be want driving to be so stressful that people will decide not to drive. Still, if you're not going to enforce a rule, it's pointless to have it posted. Might as well put up signs saying $300 fine for spitting gum on the sidewalk even though there's a trash can five feet away.

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