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Blog: Why hooter-happy motorists give me the pip

09:55 20 December 2015

Roundabouts are just one of the traffic hazards were drivers can become irate and hit the hooter.

Roundabouts are just one of the traffic hazards were drivers can become irate and hit the hooter.

Archant Norfolk

Why do some motorists use car horns as an electronic expletive, blasting other road-users for the slightest mistake or delay.

Tackling a notoriously difficult roundabout, where no one seems to indicate, I felt sorry for a driver who pulled out in front of another car entering the roundabout from the junction to the right.

Perhaps the first driver should have waited, although running it through my head, I would have gone for it, judging the gap to be safe. Maybe the other car should have been going slower given the hazards of the roundabout.

Either way, the result was the driver of the latter car slammed a hand on the hooter and held it there but did not seem to have to brake hard. The other driver was spooked and braked and it nearly ended up in a collision.

I suspect if the driver who hooted had been travelling slower, lifting off the throttle or a dab on the brakes would have been all that was needed to provided safe passage for both cars.

A couple of days later my wife was indicating to filter into the right-hand lane at a junction with a continuous stream of traffic which had right of way coming down a hill. She waited patiently, looking for a safe gap but after no more than 10 seconds the car behind honked the horn for her to hurry up. For two hoots I felt like getting out and asking if they could see the invisible gap in the traffic my wife was missing but that would have made me as aggressive as them and, like their hooting, would serve no purpose.

And then you get those people who like to toot and wave at someone they know driving the other way or walking along the pavement.

Rule 112 of the Highway Code says you should use the horn only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively. You must not use your horn while stationary on the road or when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30pm and 7am – except when another road user poses a danger.

So you use the horn as a warning – not a reprimand, a hurry-up prompt or a greeting.

The danger of so many people all too willing to hoot for the wrong reasons is that, like those annoying car or burglar alarms going off, you dismiss it and not react when it really is a warning.

What irritates you about other motorists? Email motoring@archant.co.uk


  • I have to negotiate the Fiveways roundabout at Mildenhall during rush hour to and from work everyday. I am sure I am not alone in saying so many motorists are in the wrong lanes because this roundabout is notoriously difficult to cross. There have been several instances of altercationshorn beeping - all people need is to have a little patience and consideration for others and to slow down. It's a roundabout not a race track! BTW this roundabout needs some serious reconsideration as lots of motorists on the A11 travel across it as though it just doesn't exist!!

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    Wednesday, December 23, 2015

  • Not signaling and tailgating are the most common ones. A lot of people have been driving for years unchecked and untrained. Driving is a skill and a privilege, not a right.

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    Tuesday, December 22, 2015

  • I think that vehicles that flash their headlights are of more concern. The same as for the horn, you should only flash your lights to advise other motorists of your presence - not as a thank you or please go before me. Not only can it cause accidents (because people confidently proceed without checking it's safe) it also temporarily blinds the other motorist.

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    Tuesday, December 22, 2015

  • Biggest problem on roundabouts in my view is failing to indicate - no right signal causes danger to road users waiting to merge who assume they are going straight ahead

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    Monday, December 21, 2015

  • If you enter a roundabout without giving way to the right, you're going to get hooted. Solution - give way to the right!

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    Ted Maul

    Monday, December 21, 2015

  • If you have enough time to use the horn you have more than enough time to brake.(archant this not offensive or other ) interested if this allowed.

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    Monday, December 21, 2015

  • Live near the St Stephens Roundabout for the classic example,a small mistake by a motorist is met with the Hooting of Horns for most of the 24 hour day,holier than thou fellow motorists,who of course are perfect and never make mistakes !!

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    Albert Cooper

    Sunday, December 20, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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