New Yorkers take aim at horn-honking taxis

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Yorkers are fighting back against horn-honking taxi drivers, asking that cabs be modified with lights that identify horn-honkers so that offenders can be prosecuted more easily.

Car horn-honking is an offense in New York, except in the case of imminent danger, and is punishable with a $350 fine. Enforcement is complicated, however, as police must see the driver hitting his horn to issue a ticket, one backer of horn reform said.

The Community Board 3 representing the nightlife-heavy East Village, Lower East Side and Chinatown districts proposed outing horn-honkers last week to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The board’s district manager, Susan Stetzer, said the problem is pronounced between 11:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., when people leave bars and night clubs.

“Drivers seem to honk their horns more out of frustration than out of productive reasons, and you just hear a tremendous amount of horn-honking. You can hear it for blocks and blocks away,” she said.

TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus said in a statement the commission will evaluate the proposal as part of its “Taxi of Tomorrow” project, in which it is soliciting public opinion on creating the next generation of taxis.

Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Philip Barbara