Driving with Jens: Is horn honking really necessary when locking your car?

The noise from unnecessary honking of your horn aggravates your neighbours and others

A lot of the topics for my articles come from people who reach out through my Driving with Jens Facebook page, email or sometimes in person. Recently a very nice lady named Dorthey stopped by my work and asked if I could do an article about the unnecessary honking of car horns when locking your vehicle.

The electric car horn we know today was developed by Oliver Lucas in Birmingham back in around 1910. The purpose of the car horn, then and now, is to warn others of your approach or presence, or to call attention to a hazard of some kind.

The technology in vehicles has obviously changed a lot over the years, and somehow the noise used as a warning became the same noise used to notify you that you’re locking your vehicle. Seems a little absurd when you think about it.

Most people probably don’t think about it, but the noise from unnecessary honking of your horn aggravates your neighbours and other people in parking lots. It happens every time you double-click your key fob just to be sure your vehicle is locked. After it was brought to my attention, I realized that I was doing it all the time, and it was obliviously annoying other people by the looks I was getting. I was totally unaware of how disrespectful I was being.

Noise pollution is something we should all consider and care about. The collective effect of all vehicles in our neighborhoods and communities produces an overwhelming amount of environmental noise pollution. This anxiety-producing noise is unnecessary and desensitizes people to the honks alerting possible dangers.

There may even be fines for the behavior. The Yukon Motors Vehicles website lists a possible fine of $75 for vehicle noise unduly disturbing residents in municipality between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. There may be other possible fines for unnecessarily using your horn.

Some honks may be un unavoidable. On newer vehicles, it will likely signal you with a honk if you have left a door open or left the vehicle running. In the winter a lot of people leave their vehicle running while they run into the store. Many people will also leave the vehicle running with the air conditioning on in the summer if they have left a pet in the vehicle.

The honks alerting us that we have locked the doors that is caused by double-clicking the fob are completely avoidable.

The first way to avoid this unnecessary noise is to get in the habit of pushing the lock button on the door as you exit. This is a relatively easy habit to get into if you focus on it.

The other way is to silence the horn beep feature on your key fob remote. It’s not difficult to do this. Your car is set by default to honk the horn when you lock your doors with the remote fob. However, you can change this if you prefer. Every vehicle made with the “honk when locked” feature can be programmed out by the owner or the dealer.

On some newer vehicles this may be a setting on the dash or instrument panel. Check your owner’s manual or play around with the controls until you find the setting.

On lots of cars you may also be able to do it on the fob itself.

To deactivate the horn honk feature, you could try pressing both the lock and unlock buttons on your remote for two seconds. Watch for the hazard lights to flash three times. Lock the doors and confirm that the horn does not sound.

If you want to reactivate the horn honk feature you could trying pressing and hold both the lock and unlock buttons on the remote for at least two seconds. Watch for the hazard lights to flash once. The horn should honk one time.

Turning off the horn honking feature does not affect the panic alarm function or vehicle’s security system. Your vehicle should still notify you if you left a door open or the lights on.

As always, the goal is for us all to be respectful of one another and drive defensively on the roads. We all want to get where we are going safety and we all want to return home to our families safely. We should also be respectful of those around us that are affected by our other behaviour. This would include being careful to reduce unnecessary environmental noise pollution.

I have made a commitment to myself to change my habits and encourage you to as well.

Catch Driving, with Jens on CHON FM Thursdays at 8:15. If you have any questions or comments you can reach out to Jens Nielsen at drivingwithjens@gmail.com, Facebook or Twitter: @drivingwithjens.

Driving With Jens

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: Another election, another anomaly

Monday’s “double-tie” election is generating some free publicity for the Yukon as Outside news agencies scramble to find someone to interview.

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Most Read