Why don’t we make more noise?

I live on a fairly suburban street that happens to have a freeway ramp at the end of it. As a result, each morning lots of tired, cranky people drive down my street. Sometimes they do stupid things, as they did this morning, in which case I can hear their cars squealing to avoid colliding with each other. What I don’t hear is honking. Almost ever.

In NY people honk all the time. They certainly would have been honking in front of my apartment this morning. They would have honked to say, “Hey fool, don’t pull out of your driveway in front of my moving car!!” Or “Damn I spilled my coffee!” Or “Everyone else is honking, so I’m going to honk too!” I honked this morning on my way to work. My honk said, “Hey people wake up!! You hypermilers please all get in the same lane so that those of us who want to drive over┬áthe speed limit like any normal god-fearing Angeleno can get on with it! Sheesh!” So what do you think, Angelenos–Why don’t we honk more?

(Scragz‘s cool but completely unrelated picture used through a Creative Commons license.)

13 thoughts on “Why don’t we make more noise?”

  1. i don’t really see the point of honking when i got a 1.5 ton vehicle to get my point across…

  2. I’m tired of the asshats in this town who think honking is a form of self expression. Stop contributing to noise pollution, if you see in car in front of you doing 45 in the 35mph zone, go around.

  3. I think there’s plenty of honking here, but I’ve never lived in another major metropolis, so I don’t have that reference point.

    I am reminded of how many times I’ve heard someone say, “don’t honk – you might get shot!” I think that was a common fear in this city for a while.

  4. I am an asshole who honks like a motherfucker. I LOVE IT.

    For the specific reason that most others DON’T HONK, it makes honking a REALLY RADICAL ACT and scare the bejesus out of people, so it’s effective. I really only do it when it’s well deserved, which is often, hence “like a motherfucker.” In fact, I want to find one of those 220 dB semi horns to mount under my car to really blast people. YEEEAH!

  5. Shit, LA doesn’t honk? Well maybe not all but a few areas are over horned and its like being in a 3rd world country. Glendale is the worst offender, followed closely with the assholians in the East SF around Burbank. What’s up with that?

  6. Um, because we’re laid back kinda people? (At least that’s the East Coast stereotype of us, among many others…)

    In third world countries, which most of you have never been to yet claim to think you know so well, honking is used not so much as a sign of anger but for safety reasons. People will honk mainly to say, “Hey, I’m gonna be changing lanes now, look out for me,” rather than, “Move over asshole!”

    The Militant thinks it’s far, far, more desirable to spend your split second avoiding a potential accident than to use that time activating your horn and getting involved int he said accident, hmmm? There is a zen to defensive driving. You do not honk at a boulder if it stands in your way – you drive around it. An undesirable driver should be treated with the same level of respect as an inanimate object — out of sight, out of mind.

  7. Me? I don’t honk because it never really does anything… It’s really a pointless act if you ask me.

    That and… well, like someone mentioned earlier, with highway shootings and stuff going on I don’t feel like getting blasted just in case I honk at the wrong person. Maybe that’s the paranoid Midwesterner in me since I’m still pretty fresh to LA (and, sadly, moving back to where I came from).

  8. I don’t get honking.

    One time I ran out of gas at an intersection while doing a left turn. I had my flashers on. People honked at me. Why? Is that going to make my car magically move? It isn’t going to make AAA show up any quicker. I just don’t get it.

  9. I never honk, unless I think it’s actually going to prevent an accident. I’ll also lightly tap the horn if somebody is sitting at a green light. Why don’t people in general do it in LA? I definitely buy into that “don’t honk because you don’t know what kind of maniac you’re honking at” philosophy. Or perhaps Angelenos are more passively aggressive?

  10. “Honking” in New York is a means of communicating. If you’re gonna double park your car while a rider goes in the store & that car happens to be blocking you…it’s typical to HONK in an effort to make the driver move. When a pedestrian crosses the street, the code is to HONK for them to get the hell out of the way (unlike most of California where it lends to be more Hit & RUNs). Honking is an art, knowing when to git someone out of your way!!!!!
    ***I hate it….it wakes me up all the time****

  11. Because state law forbids horn honking “unless necessary for safety”. Check out your DMV handbook. Tapping your horn to express, as you say, “Hey, people, wake up!” is not only obnoxious, it is illegal.

  12. OMFG! I didn’t realize it was illegal. In that case I’ll stop immediately. Because god knows, all laws make sense and are made to be followed. Thanks Roger.

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