Are Train Horns Illegal in Florida?

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You’ve modified your car, picked out the perfect train horn for it, and are ready to take it out for a drive. If you just want to have your train horn for appearances you may not run into any trouble on the road, but it could be a different story if you put the horn to use. While any train horn is an attention-grabbing accessory to put on your car or truck, before you outfit your vehicle and blow it for the first time, you need to find out the answer to this question: are train horns legal in Florida?

The answer is two-fold and goes back to the aforementioned issue of whether or not you actually blow your train horn. If you just keep it for looks, but never honk it, you technically won’t be violating any laws in Florida. But if you happen to let loose with your train horn while you’re driving, you will be breaking Florida statute 316.271(2), which states that “No horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonable loud or harsh sound or whistle.” In short, if you plan to sound your train horn at all, then the answer to the question “Are train horns illegal in Florida?” is “Yes”.

Whether you face a penalty for sounding your horn depends solely on whether there’s a law enforcement officer around willing and waiting to give you a citation. But before you take that risk, you should understand why blowing a train horn from a vehicle is illegal in the first place. The purpose of a train horn is to warn motorists of an oncoming train, which is why it’s so loud — 130 to 150 decibels, to be exact. This is why vehicles which sound train horns are considered to be “unreasonably loud”: your car isn’t a train and you don’t need a horn that loud to warn anyone around you. A normal car or truck horn tops out at 110 decibels, which is quite a difference.

Should you still outfit your vehicle with a train horn just for looks or fun? Absolutely! Just be aware of the potential consequences of actually putting it to use.

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