RANT - Honk When Locking

SoapboxOver the last 15 months I have had an issue in regards to horn honking in our neighborhood. I think the problem can easily be resolved by education.

Many vehicle owners have picked up some really bad habits and possibly don't know that their bad habits are affecting others.

Your vehicle comes equipped with power door lock buttons on the drivers and passenger doors. One quick simple motion of pressing the lock button and all your doors are locked and your vehicle is armed if it has security.

Your bad habits train you to ignore the lock buttons on either of the doors and immediately direct you to the key Fob that you are holding in your hand. Instead of hitting the lock button once and watching for the lights to flash, your bad habits force you to press it twice, or more, to make sure that you have locked the doors.

Many vehicles are also programmed to honk the horn when locking doors, thus allowing you to get used to hearing the horn honk, and eliminating the need for you to even watch your lights flash to indicate your vehicle is now secure.

As many get used to this ridiculous horn honking ritual, they fail to comprehend that others in the vicinity are alerted to the horn honking, each and every time they hear it.

Horns were designed as warning devices, and were not designed as features to announce to the general public when you are home, or are securing your vehicle.

This unnecessary noise becomes a serious problem because people get sick of listening to horns honking all the time. Studies have shown that unnecessary noise leads to health issues, and unnecessary frustration and anxiety. There is nothing more frustrating then trying to relax or fall asleep and have neighbors honking their horns because they don't remember if they locked their vehicle, or forgot how to do it without disturbing others.

There are simple options to eliminate the unnecessary horn honking and become a better citizen. Every vehicle's "honk when lock" featured can be programmed "out" by following some pretty simple steps available in your owners manual, or on the internet.

The choice is yours, eliminate the horn honking, or continue to be an idiot!

Now, although your vehicle may have had the horn honk confirmation enabled in the programming from new, I personally think that there is no benefit to use a horn as a tool to let vehicle owners know that their doors are locked, or they have remote started their vehicle.

 Cars should not honk when locking, setting the alarm or remote starting

         City of Kelowna's #1 Concern - Health & Safety

My view is that cars should not honk when locking, setting the alarm, or remote starting. My reasons are:

1) Noise pollution.

In a general sense, excess noise in a city (or, perhaps, anywhere) is a negative thing. We know that exposure to unnecessary noise raises our stress levels, worsens our sleep, and “affects people’s health by increasing general stress levels and aggravating stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure, coronary disease, peptic ulcers and migraine headaches. Continued exposure does not lead to habituation; in fact, the effects worsen.”

Thus, reducing individual sources of noise is a good thing. Adding a source of noise is a bad thing. Cars that honk for reasons other than alerting others to danger are adding a negative source of noise.

2) Extra honks cause stress.

In a more narrow sense than above, a car honk is an anxiety-producing sound (and, as I discuss below, it ought to be). It is meant to alert you to danger. It is loud and sudden. It is abrasive.

3) Extra honks desensitize the population to "alert" honks

You might say that my annoyance at the honk, and my level of anxiety around it should go away, but it's only getting worse. I hear honking all the time, and these days 75% of it is just inconsiderate people locking their cars.

When we all stop caring about hearing a honk, when the honk becomes a mundane sound and not a danger sound, it loses its ability to mean anything in traffic. The reason our cars have horns is not to let us know when we’ve successfully pressed the “lock” button on our key fobs; it is to alert other drivers to hazards in traffic. It is to alert other drivers, animals and pedestrians to a car’s presence in the event of a possible collision. The more we change the meaning of a honk, the less good it will do us when we need it.

The abuse of the "honk" wouldn’t be so aggravating if it weren’t so meaningless. But the use of the “honk” noise to tell a driver when he or she has successfully locked the car seems to me to have no positive benefits, and has created much more than simple noise concerns for those who are sensitive to specific sounds.

If the human race is so set on using their electronic toys and have forgotten about basic concepts, we now have a serious problem.

Anyone can simply lock their doors with the lock button on either of the door panels, but society has now been brainwashed into thinking that the key FOB is the way to go; this is not at all true!

It's all complete stupidity with no logic what so ever!

If I want to ensure that my car has locked while I am walking away from it, I must watch for certain blinking lights. While I am still within a few feet of my car, I can also hear the “click” noise of the locking mechanism. If I want to both walk away and look away, and if I am too far to hear the “click,” I will have no way of knowing that my car has locked, unless we trust that once we hear the horn honk one or twice, our vehicle is secure.

But is this really a problem that needs to be solved?

The honk doesn’t solve any accessibility problems, because those who are blind cannot drive anyway. And in cars that make a noise but do not honk when they lock, a still-annoying but at least not honking “beep” or "chirp" suffices. If you really need a horn honk to tell you when you’ve locked your car you have some serious issues. Surely the blinking park lights front and back should suffice, and if you can't see them, you probably shouldn't be driving to begin with.

And I also take issue with the notion that people need a noise to tell them they’ve locked the car at all. Are we really so lazy that we can’t check otherwise? If you need a honk to assure yourself your car is locked, you will probably end up using it all the time and foregoing other ways of making sure the car is locked.

Every vehicle made with this "honk when locked" feature can be simply programmed out either by the owner or the dealer. There is absolutely no excuse for a warning device to alert everyone that you are locking your doors.

I'd love for this to stop setting my teeth on edge, but I hear it all the time from inside my house when people get in and out of their cars parked on the street or in their driveways, and it's driving me up the wall. Why should cars honk when they lock, unlock, set the alarm, etc?

How can a neighbor who honks their horn numerous times a day be a "good neighbor", who clearly shows no respect for others by creating un-necessary noise?

How can any form of Government allow this un-necessary noise to continue in a modern society with laws and rules?

This is really a conflict and contradiction of written Bylaws pertaining to noise, and is something that seriously needs attention!




I only honk when I spot a cute girl at a bus stop.
While my car doesn't let me secure it from the inside - if I close the central lock with the driver door open it unlocks automatically - so I must use the fob to secure, but it only honks if I do it twice.
I interpret the car's honk as "Yeah you locked it already you dumba$$", so naturally most of the time I rely on the actual sound of the locks locking.

Honking is dangerous nowadays, I prefer steering. Well maybe I'll lean on my horn once in a while to entice due care and attention from drivers stopping in the middle of the street for no good reason.

un-necessary horn honking

I was really hoping for our host to chime in with his thoughts on this situation. For some strange reason, the RCMP and Bylaw Officers don't know how to deal with this, nor does any Municipal Council.

The reason that this stupidity prevails, is because those who should be putting and end to this, are part of the problem.

I asked the head of Bylaws why he figured it was alright for him to have his vehicle honk every time he hit the lock button on his key FOB, and disturb the peace, quiet, comfort of the neighborhood, and his response was "thats the way my vehicle came when I bought it" as well "all the vehicles now do this". I said no they don't, the onus is on the vehicle owner to not disturb the peace, quiet, comfort or enjoyment of the neighborhood, so if you continue to honk when you lock your vehicle, especially late at night, you are clearly an idiot with no respect for our neighbors!

You Covered It

I really can't add much to all that you have said here save that it is a social issue that just requires a bit of consideration.

If police won't deal with car alarms that blare, there's no hope they will even consider dealing with this.

Heck, sometimes they won't even bother with things that are dangerous instead of just annoying!

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