So we all have done it. Maybe it was to startle a friend walking on the sidewalk, or to signal to the car ahead that indeed the light is green, but unless it is a matter or safety you shouldn't be tooting your horn in Minnesota. Yes, honking your horn for anything other than safety reasons is illegal.

The monthly publication from the Steele County Sheriff's Office tipped me off on the honking statute. The September Steele Star highlighted the statute.

According to Minnesota Statute 169.68, a driver of a motor vehicle shall give an audible warning with the horn only when necessary for safe operation. It is illegal to honk the horn if it is not a safety situation. The full statute is posted below.

169.68 HORN, SIREN.

(a) Every motor vehicle when operated upon a highway must 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 200 feet. However, the horn or other warning device must not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle. The driver of a motor vehicle shall, when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation, give audible warning with the horn, but shall not otherwise use the horn when upon a highway.

While law enforcement has other things to do than patrol for horns honking, and you more than likely won't be tossed in jail for the offense, you could be issued a citation and have to pay a fine for any excessive horn honking.

If you knew that honking your horn for something other than safety reasons was illegal, maybe you also knew that flashing your high-beams is also illegal here in Minnesota too. 

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