We're getting close to winter, so if you haven't had a need to honk your horn at someone, the dusk is gonna come off of those horns pretty soon. Winter driving in Michigan is always treacherous, and even in Kalamazoo it can get a bit crazy as well. That's why it's good to know that there is, legally, only one way someone can use their horn in the state of Michigan. We know that other states have their own laws, but in Michigan there are some particular laws set in place for certain vehicles, and some features that are legal on some vehicles are illegal on others.

It seems complicated so I'll break it down for you. Normally, "any vehicle that's travelling on the road has to have a horn that can carry an audible distance no less than 200 feet but a horn or other warning device isn't aloud to emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle. The driver of a motor vehicle shall when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation give audible warning with his horn but shall not otherwise use the horn when upon a highway."

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Legal For Some, Illegal For Others

In Michigan, there are laws that pertain to some vehicle, but not others in the case of column b of Section 257.706 of the Michigan Vehicle Code:

A vehicle shall not be equipped with nor shall a person use upon a vehicle a siren, whistle, or bell, except as otherwise permitted in this section.
The acceptation to this rule of course is an authorized emergency but can't be used except when the vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law. Also, classic cars get a pass too. A motor vehicle licensed as a historic vehicle "may be equipped with a siren, whistle, or bell which may be used when participating in a parade, exhibition, tour, or similar event."
So there you go, unless you're warning someone, it's actually illegal to use your horn. So take a couple of deep breaths the next time someone does something dumb on the road around you, flying by blaring your horn could get YOU busted.

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