Outlawing honking

Walking around the streets of Tokyo, I gradually became aware of a traffic sound—that was missing. Honking horns. You virtually never hear horns anywhere in Japan. It’s against the law, except when necessary to alert someone to danger. More simply, it’s against common sense, and unnecesary.

Contrast that to Los Angeles where the car ahead of you slowing down a bit, a car pulling into traffic 100 yards ahead of you, or someone changing lanes in front of you, someone trying to parallel park, or virtually any other perceived offense is considered valid grounds for a good lean on the horn. It’s not about alerting anyone—it’s about letting off steam, and auditorily punishing people.

Let’s outlaw honking horns. Of course, our democracy is too broken to actually do something this reasonable. I guarantee opponents of such a move would cite the First Amendment in their diatribes.

Leave a Reply