If you’ve driven around Denton lately, you’ve heard the bleeping beeping. Horn-honking seems like it’s on the rise. Take, for instance, my recent incident. Perhaps readers can shed some light on this one.
It happened at the corner of U.S. Highway 380 and Bell Avenue. There was a car in front of me. He had not passed me. He was first in line when I arrived and that made the incident even more spooky.
When the light turned green, the driver started moving. Then, he honked his horn, rolled the driver side window down and shot his left arm out the window. That wasn’t all he shot. Well, you get it, don’t you?
Three weeks later, and I’m still scratching my head and wondering what I’d done to make him honk and gesture.
Driving in Denton is frustrating. There is a bee in my bonnet as I drive our streets, too.
A lot is changing, and there is plenty of construction to prove it. Along with change on the Denton Square and around town, we are experiencing heavy construction. Those orange cones are getting on my last nerve.
After being late for several appointments to my hairdresser on North Elm — my most important appointment of the week — I realize I have to keep track of where road construction is. (Tip: The Denton Record-Chronicle lists road construction sites in the paper.)
Construction leads to congestion, but laying on the horn is not always justified. I turned to the law to find out the legal guidelines for giving someone the beep. The Texas Transportation Code 547.501 — I’ll call it the horn honking code — says: “A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a horn in good working condition that emits a sound audible under normal conditions at a distance of 200 feet.”
It goes on to say a driver “shall use a horn to provide audible honking only when necessary to insure safe operation.”
What I didn’t find in the code was text saying motorists should honk if a traffic light changes and the first car in the line of traffic is slow or not moving. Or if a vehicle in front of a driver is moving too slowly.
Sometimes when I’m going the speed limit and someone goes around me honking their horn, I say (in the privacy of my car but with a bit of animosity), “You know, this is not New York City.”
Although New York is a great place to shop and take in a play, I would not want to live there. Manhattan’s sirens and taxi horns honking would drive me crazy.
Please, let’s have managed growth and not let Denton turn into an annoying, loud town. Denton has a historical reputation of friendship. I describe Denton to my out-of-town friends as a place with a small-town atmosphere, sophistication of the arts and the friendliest people on the planet.
And — please, please, please — can we be polite, friendly drivers again? Let’s not forget that we have a booming population of folks on the road, from young drivers to seniors who motor along on our beautiful streets and want to be safe.
Safety rules in Denton. I won’t forget to mention the major players in our town. When I had my first accident two years ago, the compassion of the police officer who came and opened my car door for me was unparalleled.
We also have top notch fire and sheriff’s departments.
So, if you become impatient and want honk your horn and pass someone, or if someone lingers at a signal light too long for your fancy, please be patient. Only honk if you or the other driver or a pedestrian is in danger. Remember two things: First, being careful with the horn is the law, and second, it’s not polite to honk when there is no danger.
If you are tempted to honk your horn, take it from this little ol’ driver who mutters under her breath when she is impatient. And, what exactly do I utter?
Well, bless their heart.