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Old 12-14-2009, 11:42 AM   #1
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Legal Horn Decibels in Florida

I "upgraded" my horn and cannot find a definitive answer in the Florida Statutes about what the legal horn decibels in an automobile are. Does anyone know??? Thanks!

Florida Statute 316.271 is very vague and reads:

316.271 Horns and warning devices.--
(1) 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 200 feet.
(2) No horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.
(3) The driver of a motor vehicle shall, when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, give audible warning with his or her horn, but shall not otherwise use such horn when upon a highway.
(4) No vehicle shall be equipped with, nor shall any person use upon a vehicle, any siren, whistle, or bell, except as otherwise permitted in this section.
(5) It is permissible but not required that any vehicle be equipped with a theft alarm signal device which is so arranged that it cannot be used by the driver as an ordinary warning signal.
(6) Every authorized emergency vehicle shall be equipped with a siren, whistle, or bell capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 500 feet and of a type approved by the department, but such siren, whistle, or bell shall not be used except when the vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, in which event the driver of the vehicle shall sound the siren, whistle, or bell when reasonably necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers of the approach thereof.
(7) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, a trolley may be equipped with a bell, and the bell is not required to be used only as a warning device. As used in this subsection, the term "trolley" includes any bus which resembles a streetcar, which is powered by overhead electric wires or is self-propelled, and which is used primarily as a public conveyance.
(8) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
History.--s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 4, ch. 86-36; s. 1, ch. 88-91; s. 325, ch. 95-148; s. 203, ch. 99-248.

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Old 12-14-2009, 12:00 PM   #2
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If you upgraded it to an automotive horn, then I'm sure you're fine. If you upgraded to a train horn running off of an air compressor, then I'm guessing you should expect a ticket.

What did you put in?

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Old 12-14-2009, 06:04 PM   #3
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It's a train horn running off an air compressor with a switch to go from stock horn to upgraded horn and back.

I suppose that there needs to exist something definitive in the way of actual specific decibels instead of leaving it entirely to the discretion of the officer. What I am looking for is the specific decibels.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:10 PM   #4
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Why a train horn? Just for the "fun" factor?

As for the specifics, I'd contact your local DMV and see.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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Train horn vs (2) No horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.

Doesn't get much louder than a train horn. I don't think most people feel that it would be reasonable to have a train horn on a Jeep. If you want specific decibels, you should probably ask a local FHP for info. Many things are simply left at officer discretion, this may be one of them, and I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a ticket and try to fight it in court. Totally not worth it. Use the stock horn, or something you know is legal for the street, save the train horn for pranks that don't jeopardize people's safety.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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OK, let me back up. Not sure that it's a train horn. It does, for sure, run off an air compressor. I told the mechanic to put in a horn similar to that of a truck/18-wheeler/large transport truck. So, it is not a train horn, but it is substantially louder than a regular Jeep horn.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:24 PM   #7
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BTW, I am in Miami, where almost every human being that has moved here recently has come from a country where it is perfectly acceptable to drive without a license, viciously cut you off with their uninsured clunckers and maneuver like absolute barbarians.

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