“It doesn’t get any greener!” It can drive impatient people to rage when drivers simply don’t drive off at an intersection or junction, even though the traffic light has long since changed. Most often, the dreamer is engrossed in his cell phone. It makes sense to honk the horn – but strictly speaking, that’s not a good idea.
What many either don’t know or deliberately ignore: In Austria there is a general ban on honking, ÖAMTC lawyer Martin Hoffer explains: “According to the road traffic regulations, honking is only allowed if traffic safety requires it. If the horn is defective, e.g. B. be warned of danger by emitting flashing signals. In particular, in front of schools, hospitals and at night, the horn must not be honked any longer than necessary.” This applies, identified by a corresponding sign, in certain areas for reasons of noise protection. “It states that the horn may only be sounded in these areas when no other means would be sufficient to protect persons from danger. If, for example, emergency braking would be enough to prevent an accident, the horn shouldn’t actually be honked,” explains the expert. Reality shows, however, that disregarding the horn ban is rarely or hardly ever punished. Horn ban also for cyclists and rail vehicles Since bicycles are considered vehicles in the sense of the road traffic regulations, the horn ban also applies to cyclists. Accordingly, the bell may only be pressed in the event of imminent danger. “However, many cyclists see the bell as an opportunity to ‘clear the road’. This is also a punishable offence: Unauthorized ringing of the bell can cost up to 726 euros – like honking your horn when driving a car,” the lawyer warns. “Ringing is permitted to announce departure from the station. Otherwise, however, trams are only allowed to emit a warning signal if traffic safety requires it,” says the expert. Honing the horn at weddings, for example, is a special case. “Honing the horn is forbidden in such cases. However, there has apparently never been a case in which police officers stopped a wedding party and asked the newlywed couple to pay. In any case, no complaints have reached us so far.” In principle, the club recommends all road users to act with foresight. Nevertheless, Hoffer advises: “Should a tricky situation arise, it is of course better to honk your horn than risk an accident.”