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BMW drivers blow horns most

Blowing your horn in Australia could cost you thousands of dollars if misused.
Mark Hinchliffe
CarsGuide

6 Jan 2012 • 3 min read

According to an online poll of 2000 British drivers, 53 per cent of BMW drivers admit to using their horn at least once every journey, almost triple the national average of 18 per cent.

Other hornblowers are Jag drivers (45 per cent), Fiats (43 per cent), Audis (39 per cent) and Saabs (29 per cent), while, Nissan drivers are a quiet lot with 95 per cent saying they only use their horns in emergencies. 

Blowing your horn in Australia could cost you thousands of dollars if misused. Queensland road rules declare that drivers must not use a car horn unless warning other road users or animals of a danger with fines up to a maximum of $2000.

However the horn can also be used as part of an anti-theft device or an alcohol interlock device. Australian Design Rules stipulate that the car horn must be audible and reachable by the driver, but have only one note and not sound like a siren, bell or whistle.

Consequently, car horns that play a tune such as the popular La Cucaracha (Spanish for cockroach) are illegal. RACQ Insurance spokesman Mike Sopinski says misuse of horns shows up on their annual survey of what peeves drivers.

"Improper use of vehicle horns could be a distraction to other drivers and may be the cause of an accident," he said. "Improper and over use of car horns is also often associated with aggressive driving and anti-social driver behaviour."

"Perhaps one of the most prevalent misuses of car horns is the blasting of the horn when leaving a friend's house, a behaviour many motorists are known to engage in to the complete annoyance of neighbours."

Student Faith Hartley, 23, admits she has tooted the horn at drivers who are "being stupid on the road" and been honked at for not taking off from the lights quick enough; "which is really stupid".

The part-time model also revealed she has been honked with appreciation by the opposite sex. "On the highway if you are going down the coast and there are guys in the car next to you they might blow the horn," she said.

The UK survey by webuyanycar.com found that reasons for blowing the horn included when another driver pulls out in front (52 per cent) and when a vehicle is stationary at a green traffic light (51 per cent). Only 29 per cent said they blew the horn to warn other drivers of danger.

British motorists also admitted to using the horn if they spot a fellow road user talking on a mobile phone, when a cyclist is using incorrect road positioning as well as alerting other drivers when travelling on winding country lanes.

Six per cent reckoned the horn should only be used to express anger, while 3 per cent said it was to be used if they spot someone they know.