Is It Illegal To Honk At Police in Idaho?
So, you're driving down I-84 and let's say that a Boise PD squad car cuts you off.
Your immediate instinct might be to slam down on your vehicle's horn and give that officer a piece of your mind... but should you?
No one's perfect... and that's okay!
Look, we all make mistakes, even our first responders. As we all go about our daily lives, we can easily forget that police officers, firefighters, and emergency services are all human beings.
When these frontline workers took their oath, they swore to serve and protect us, not put us in danger.
Sometimes, officers could be responding to a call, requiring them to speed and if necessary, cut some of us off along the way. So, if you honk your horn at them as they pass you, would you get in trouble?
Idaho legislation establishes first, that you should have a horn that sounds reasonable. You don't want to blast a "novelty honk" (at least that's what we're calling it) at an officer cutting you off. That horn alone could be deemed illegal as Idaho legislation says:
Every motor vehicle when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than two hundred (200) feet, but no horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or whistle.
So, your horn fits the criteria... can you honk at an officer? Yes... and no.
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.
What does that mean? To put it simply, you can honk your horn at an officer to give them an "audible warning when reasonably necessary."
If you honk your horn at the officer, they should understand why if it's reasonable; for example, they don't see you and are about to hit your vehicle.
You know - for safety reasons!
Now, we don't recommend you become overly aggressive with your horn either. Our colleague shared a great breakdown of the circumstances when it is illegal to honk your horn and we highly recommend you give that a read if you use your horn a lot.
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