Horn habits

Yesterday I used my car horn in anger. I was merrily driving down the road. The sun was shining, the road was almost clear of traffic; it could have been a car commercial, apart from the fact that my car is 10 years old and has started making that noise again – insert rant about car repairs here.

This woman in a silver Ford was ahead of me, and pulled over to the left. As I went to pass her I noticed her right indicator was on, and before I knew it she’d pulled out in front of me to do a U-turn. Oh, nice one lady.

I braked to avoid a collision, and beeped to make my presence known. Only then (and by this point her car was at the point where I’d have hit her side on if I hadn’t slowed down) did she look around and see me. And you know what she did? Not the reaction of "Oh no, I’ve done a stupid thing!" Not "Hey, whatareyou beeping at me for, I own the road!" No, she smiled and gave me a wave. Bizarre.

I’m firmly of the opinion that car horns are a safety device only. I came to this opinion after putting up with the neighbours at the old place whose friends had a very nasty habit of

(a) pulling up at four o’clock in the fucking morning to go fishing, and using their horn as a substitute for getting out of their car and knocking on the door to say "Hi, we’re here, let’s go"

(b) having parties until the wee small hours, and their friends using their horns to say "goodbye" as they drove off, as if they hadn’t just said "goodbye" anyway.

Okay admittedly maybe my gripe was with my neighbours friends rather than my neighbours. But those neighbours (and their friends) had other bad (non-horn related) habits, so I’m prepared to blame them for having friends like that.

My new crop of neighbours… well, one or two of them do have a horn habit. Though so far never in the middle of the night.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.