Topping the list of laws that are not enforced has to be New York City’s ‘Unnecessary Honking’ law. Signs all over the city warn that those who use their horn carelessly may be hit with a $350 fine.
The new message to New Yorkers: Honk away!
Yahoo! News reprinted the Associated Press report Tuesday that the Department of Transportation is planning on removing all signs by the end of 2013. The decision is part of an effort to de-clutter the streets of signs that are aged or needless.
From the tax lines at the Port Authority Bus Terminal to the entrance of the Holland Tunnel, eight million New Yorkers use their horns as often as their gas pedals as they make their way through a flabbergasting daily commute.
Honking is a signature NYC sound, and much like jaywalking, it also may be illegal. Nonetheless, scofflaws flout the anti-horn law with unbridled enthusiasm, and nothing is done about it.
“Blowing the horn is a fact of life, part of the fabric and culture of the city,” said Robert Sinclair Jr., a spokesman for AAA New York. “If it weren’t there, people would wonder.”
Nevertheless, it appears city officials have given in. New York City’s “Don’t Honk” signs, erected in the 1980s during former Mayor Edward I. Koch’s tenure, are coming down.
Some noise-conscious New Yorkers disagree.
“I can’t tell you how many requests I get for ‘no honking’ signs,” said Gale A. Brewer, a Manhattan council member. “The notion of taking down information when information is so hard to get in New York City is pretty bad.”
One solution? Nissan’s Taxi of Tomorrow, which boasts a kindler and gentler horn.
In 2011, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the Taxi of Tomorrow, the Nissan NV200 van, would be equipped with the latest in honk-reduction technology. A low-annoyance horn which would evidently replace ‘HONK!’ with ‘honk (shh).’
The Taxis of Tomorrow are expected be phased into the citywide fleet late this year. In addition to a less screechy honk, the vehicle’s roof panel illuminates with amber lights whenever the driver uses his horn.
“It’s a bit of a public shaming device,” said David S. Yassky, the city’s taxi commissioner.