Can You Really Get a Ticket for Honking Your Horn in South Dakota?
When it comes to using your car horn, what camp do you reside in? Are you a honker or a non-honker?
I think we can all agree a car horn serves a purpose. But there are definitely some drivers who like to abuse their car horn honking privileges.
Let's be honest, we've all needed to give our horns a little toot from time to time. I know personally that I've needed to use the horn on my vehicle on several occasions to prevent some jackwagon from running into my car.
Parking lots are typically the worst., especially grocery store parking lots for some reason. Some days it can seem like a glorified version of bumper cars in a number of Sioux Falls parking lots, with people's lack of attention, not to mention all the bubbleheads who can't seem to put down their phones for 30 seconds to survey their surroundings.
I did a little snooping recently on South Dakota car horn laws, and here's what I found out in regards to using your horn while driving:
South Dakota drivers are only allowed to give an audible warning with a car horn when it's necessary for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. This basically means you can't lay on your horn and tailgate some jack-wad for several blocks that just cut you off in traffic. As fun and satisfying as they may sound, that type of behavior behind the wheel could land you in trouble here in South Dakota should you get caught
According to Hornblasters.com, there is also a South Dakota state law on the books (32-15-11) that states sirens, whistles, and unnecessary loud noises on a privately owned vehicle are punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor if used inappropriately.
Simply put, should a person have a vehicle equipped with a siren, or any compression or spark plug whistle, or any exhaust horn, or whistle which does not produce a harmonious sound, or for any person at any time to use a horn otherwise not intended to provide a reasonable warning or to make any unnecessary or unreasonably loud or harsh sound by means of a horn or other warning device, you could once again be in violation of South Dakota state law.
By the way, a Class 2 misdemeanor in South Dakota comes with the potential penalty of up to 30 days' imprisonment and a $500 fine. Even though misdemeanors are classified by the amount of time one could possibly spend in jail, not everyone convicted of a misdemeanor will go to jail.
Now I have to believe South Dakota law enforcement officials have better things to do with their time than handing out citations for misusing your car horn, but, you never know.
My advice, before you go all honk em' if you got em' on Buffy, the next time you catch her watching a TikTok video on 41st Street while behind the wheel, you might want to resist the urge to lay on your horn! Maybe just a little toot is all you need to do?