Awareness and Enforcement of the NYC Noise Code

10.5.16 UPDATE: It is curious that “Don’t Honk” signs still exist on streets in the Ditmas Park neighborhoods of Rugby, Argyle and Marlborough Roads, between Ditmas and Albermarle Roads. I guess people who live in the more affluent neighborhoods deserve to live in quiet and peaceful neighborhoods.


“Don’t Honk” signs were removed on all streets/street corners in 2015 (?) because the federal standard for signs, signals and pavement markings, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) did not recognize these signs. So, as I was informed in an email back in 2015 from the DOT:

“New York City Traffic Rules prohibit the honking of vehicle horns except when necessary to warn a person or animal of danger. Therefore, signs are not needed for this purpose. These signs detract attention away from essential traffic control devices.”*

SO, the Traffic Rules exist, but, the thing is, how many people are AWARE of these rules, and, further, if people aren’t aware, then how can the rules/code be enforced by the police? If noise complaints are registered via 311, then filtered to one’s local NYPD precinct (shout out to my local precinct, the 66th! Thank you for attempting to enforce a traffic code that drivers aren’t aware of or, don’t care about), the complaint is investigated–to what extent, I’m not sure–and then the complaint is closed. The cycle continues and the problem still exists. If the signage was returned, wouldn’t that at least help control the problem of unnecessary vehicle honking? If drivers were aware that a law existed, then, wouldn’t that deter them from violating it because of the “threat” of a monetary fine?

*I find this statement to be ridiculous…because if drivers are that distracted, then they shouldn’t be driving in the first place because pretty much anything could be classified as a “distraction”–store signage, a person walking down the street, usage of a cell phone, etc.


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