I heard from a cyclist that motorists are legally prohibited from using their horns on the street to get people's attention or indeed for any reason other than to directly avert a collision.

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    Or indirectly. It should be used to alert other road users to your presence, for example certain blind bends, such as where a narrow lane dog-legs under a railway bridge. It's indirect because you don't even know if another vehicle is approaching. That's the point - if you could see each other you would not need to toot. Another situation is approaching a blind bend on a narrow uphill mountian road. Vehicles coming downhill are supposed to give way to you, and if they don't know you are there you'll both have to stop. Jun 20, 2022 at 19:11
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    @WeatherVane I've learned such use is explicitly illegal, with some exceptions, such as the Swiss postal bus.
    – gerrit
    Jun 21, 2022 at 7:08
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    @gerrit we don't have Swiss postal buses here, please post the explicit link. The answer below quotes the Highway Code: to warn other road users of your presence. This is actually the primary reason for having the horn at all. Jun 21, 2022 at 10:07
  • @WeatherVane Sorry, I don't have a link. When I was in driving school, I learned it was allowed to use to avert immediate danger only.
    – gerrit
    Jun 21, 2022 at 10:56
  • @gerrit was that in England / Wales?
    – Tim
    Jun 21, 2022 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


From the Highway Code:

Rule 112

The horn. Use 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
  • when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am

except when another road user poses a danger.

Law CUR reg 99

Rule 195

Zebra and parallel crossings. As you approach a zebra crossing ...

  • do not wave, flash your lights or use your horn to invite pedestrians across; this could be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching
  • be patient, do not sound your horn or rev your engine as this can be intimidating ...

Rule 214

Animals. When passing animals, drive slowly. Give them plenty of room and be ready to stop. Do not scare animals by sounding your horn ...

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    – Dale M
    Jun 22, 2022 at 0:27

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