To honk or not to honk, that is the question that could affect your wallet. And I think I came close to a fine.

I honked my horn twice at a driver in front of me at a rotary in Dover, New Hampshire. This driver had several opportunities to merge safely, but waited until there weren't any cars around. Ugh, it was so ridiculous.

As I finally pulled into the rotary, a police officer sitting in a nearby gas station shook his finger at me in disappointment as I drove by. Nothing happened, but it got me thinking.

I take advantage of my horn when that annoying driver in front of me just sits there for several seconds after the light turns green. I usually do the quick and friendly "tap-tap" on my horn, but the distracted driver sometimes deserves a semi-long honk.

While that's a safety issue and is okay, apparently, when a driver stops instead of yielding at a rotary causing unnecessary backup, I could technically be fined for honking.

If we honk our horns because someone is driving too slow, for example, honking our horns is illegal. If a police officer is right there, they can write us a ticket at their discretion, or at the very least pull us over and scold us.

According to The Sun website, the law is uniform across the country, whether you're in Maine and New Hampshire or not.

It's all about safety and law enforcement discretion to a point on what's deemed a safety issue.

It's Okay to Honk

  1. To alert a driver who is about to hit you.
  2. To alert a pedestrian that they are in danger.
  3. To alert another car of a traffic signal.

It's Not Okay to Honk

  1. To grab someone's attention to say hello.
  2. To express anger or annoyance.
  3. For fun.

If someone starts to cut us off or weave into our lane, we can honk. If a pedestrian starts to walk in front of our car or appears they're going to, we can honk. If the action of a driver is unsafe, we can honk. However, being annoyed when everything is fine around us is technically illegal.

The keyword is safety when it comes to honking our horns. Unless it's an emergency or a safety issue that could cause an accident, leave your horn alone, according to The Sun.

I guess I should have some fines at this point, even with my friendly honk-honk.

According to the Defensive Driving website, here's when we can and can't use our horns legally.

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