Stop and frisks and cycling citations are at record highs, but the NYPD isn't doing a whole lot about the noise that raises the collective blood pressure of city residents. Incessant honking, which totally makes traffic jams disappear instantly, is a $350 fine in most of the city. And though we've never seen a cabbie not impatiently honk at a car going the speed limit, the TLC is trying to change that behavior by sending them text messages reminding them of the fine. Not surprisingly, the cabbies are not letting go of their horns quietly.
"It's unrealistic to stop all the honking," a Queens cabbie told the Daily News. "The TLC doesn't understand. People honk at you just because you are a cab driver. Everybody honks." Another cab driver says, "If you don't honk, people don't move, and we need to make money." It's true: we tip our cabbie double if they give a nice, 30-second blast outside our ex's apartment at 4 a.m.
TLC Commissioner David Yassky rightly sees excessive honking as "a form of pollution, and it is simply unacceptable for our professional licensees to abuse their ability to create it." We're all for those short "get out of our way texting pedestrian" honks, but spend more than 5 minutes on Delancey Street at rush hour or Broome Street near the Holland Tunnel and you will thirst for aural justice.
In the UK, honking while stationary is a crime, which would be a good start to curbing excesses here. Then again, if the city really needs revenue, it'd be prudent to start enforcing the laws we already have.