Mr. Bill George Presents

To Beep Or Not To Beep

In Society on August 14, 2009 at 9:12 AM

I honk my horn at other drivers probably once or twice a year. It’s a rare occurrence to say the least. Meanwhile, I know people who are constantly laying on the horn every chance they can get.

What accounts for this disparity?

Part of it is the fact I generally assume positive intent. If someone cuts in front of me or does something that impedes my driving, I try to take a second to re-live the experience from their perspective and find out if there is a rational explanation for what they did. And I reflect on the occurrence as a whole to make sure I was not the one at fault. Then I try to determine if I actually have the right to beep at them. In other words, instead of “beep first, ask questions later,” I like to decide if the situation is beepable (or ‘beepworthy’ if you will) before applying the horn.

Problem is, by the time I reach a decision, the moment has passed. Beeping too late is empty and pointless. We’ve all moved on. There’s no effect.

Those few times I do beep, is because the situation occurs slowly instead of spontaneously. And 9 times out of 10, it involves trying to get through the ‘Fast Lane’ of a toll booth.

It seems many people in our fair commonwealth forget the first part of the term: FAST. It is supposed to take less time going through the ‘Fast Lane’ than waiting for a normal toll. And don’t give me the “it’s listed for 15 mph” nonsense. We all know they can pick up on that transponder even if you’re doing a good 40.

When it comes down to it, ‘Fast Lane’ passes should be mandatory. It shouldn’t be an option anymore. Everyone should just be issued one. And the dividers between booths should be removed and we should just drive under an overpass filled with sensors like they do in New Jersey. No real need to slow down. Our goal is to keep moving and the state’s goal is to collect money quickly, so we all win.

Back to the discussion at hand: car horn honking. We should discuss, in an open forum, what makes an offense beepworthy.  What action by another driver do you find yourself consistently beeping at? Do you only beep at individuals, or at a situation as a whole? Must it be at someone because of something they do? Or do you beep at the fact that there is a hold up ahead of all of you?

I’m very curious to hear some varying points of view on this topic.

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  1. i typically only beep my horn if someone is walking in front of me while parked, only to startle them for my personal amusement, not because they are in my way.

  2. I find that drivers that beep while stopped in traffic are the most ignorant drivers of all. Do they think that suddenly the traffic is going to move because of their superficial BEEP?
    I very rarely beep because I feel it does no good, for the most part the person you are beeping at does not really know where it is coming from. The best time to beep and the most amusing time is when your friend has their head under the hood checking your oil or washer fluid! the reciever of that beep may not think so, but man does it make YOUR day……LOL!

  3. I’ve always said there should be different types of beeps for different driving situations. like a gentle toot toot for “hey buddy the light changed” and a HONKK for “get the f*ck out of my way pedestrian!”

  4. im with ange on this one… i honk at the slow pedestrians that just walk across slowly and take there time like they own the road! ah it’s so annoying when they do that.

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