We all have done it at least once or twice, maybe even a few times this week! Is beeping your horn after a win for your favorite sports team or when you leave your friends or family‘s house, legal? According to the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, there are some laws regarding excessive horn use.

The bottom line is, use your horn sparingly as it is meant to be a device to signal danger or prevent an accident from happening.

Horn Law

If you live or have grown up in the Western New York area and have ever gone to a sporting event like a Buffalo Bills game or a Sabres game, you have heard drivers of cars, trucks and other vehicles beeping their horn to the tune of let’s go Buffalo wild waiting for traffic to leave the stadium. Much like people saying "Go Bills" to someone when you arrive somewhere or leave somewhere, using the car horn for "let’s go Buffalo" is almost the same for one driver to say hi to another, in the Western New York area. But according to the law above you may be breaking the law.

Exactly how often do you use the horn on your vehicle? I know some people who won’t put their car in reverse and start moving until they beep the horn as a warning signal a couple of times. I think most people on the roads use their car horn out of frustration. For example, when you get cut off on a Thruway entrance, or exit, or someone cut in front of you in a parking lot, or takes your spot in a parking lot, the horn becomes a way of shouting out your frustrations.

You can always tell when someone is upset with another driver just by the duration of the horn blast from the vehicle.

It seems that the celebration horn blasting used to happen more often following weddings as well. You could hear a driver beeping a horn and the sound of cans rattling behind for blocks away. It has been some time since I’ve heard or seen this and wonder if it’s still even a thing?

When you were a kid, you probably were going down the highway on a family road trip trying to get the trucker next to you to beep the horn. Every kid has done the horn pull signal with their arm as a big rig rolls by the family car on a road trip.

The only time that a horn really becomes offensive is when it is attached to a car alarm. It gets really frustrating when you hear the sound of a car horn constantly going on and off and it seems like the owner is not around to disarm the alarm. In my opinion, that is way more offensive than any let’s go Buffalo celebration toot from a horn.

The bottom line is, use your horn sparingly as it is meant to be a device to signal danger or prevent an accident from happening.

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