Most drivers have honked their horns at least once in their life. A horn can be a surprisingly useful tool – alerting other motorists of potential hazards and stirring distracted drivers from their smartphone-induced stupor. But can a car horn actually be illegal in Georgia? Under what circumstances might you get a traffic ticket for a violation committed with your car horn? These might be important questions, especially if you have been given a ticket for a horn-related offense in the near past.
Not Having a Horn is Illegal
First of all, it is important to note that not having an operational car horn is illegal in Georgia. This is considered to be an important part of a vehicle’s required safety equipment, alongside lights, appropriate tires, and so on. If you are caught without a functional horn in Georgia, you may face a fine. Of course, it is incredibly unlikely that a police officer will discover that your horn is not working. In order to do so, they would need to physically test your horn, which is something that officers rarely do when inspecting vehicles.
A car horn is required to have a specific volume. Georgia’s traffic code states that a horn must be audible at a distance of at least 200 feet. If your vehicle’s horn is not loud enough, you may face a traffic violation as a result. However, this does not mean that you need to upgrade to the loudest aftermarket horn you can get your hands on. Excessively loud horns are also illegal, so you need to find the “sweet spot” between these two extremes. Of course, the easiest way to accomplish this is to simply rely upon the horn already installed within your vehicle instead of purchasing an aftermarket horn device.
What Kinds of Sounds are Allowed?
Georgia’s traffic laws specifically mention a number of types of sounds that are not allowed:
In addition, the traffic code also prohibits unreasonably “harsh” sounds, although the definition of this term is somewhat subjective. Finally, you cannot use your car’s alarm system as a horn. If you upgrade your car in such a way that you can activate your car alarm while driving, this may be considered a traffic violation.
You Can Get a Ticket for Using Your Horn Irresponsibly
Under Georgia’s traffic laws, horns must only be used to warn other drivers of danger. If you use your horn under any other circumstance, you could face a ticket as a result. For example, you might honk your horn repeatedly while following a car that did something dangerous. You might also honk your horn to get a pedestrian’s attention. Both of these acts would be theoretically illegal.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Traffic Attorney in Georgia?
If you have been searching for a qualified traffic attorney in Georgia, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous motorists across Georgia who have faced traffic tickets. The truth is that you can contest your ticket and have it dismissed relatively easily. Doing so may free you from prohibitive fines, license suspension, and other consequences. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.