Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Honk That Horn! The Nanny State Writ (Very, Very) Small...

I did not know honking your car horn was illegal in New York City, as - with a office window facing Broadway - it is the virtual soundtrack to my day, if not my life.  Apparently, it can net you a $350 fine, with the NYPD issuing some 206 summonses for “unnecessary use of horn” in 2012.

Which is apparently one fine per one million honks.  Not enough to deter the practice, for sure.  Makes one wonder why they even bother with such an unenforceable law, unless it is part and parcel of the government's attempt to always have something on you, some way to punish you, should you somehow step out of line.

But that's a post for another day.  What I found humorous here is the clashing of two different nanny-state attempts to regulate the minutia of city life.  For it turns out that "horn honking" is now at odds with the scourge of  "sign clutter", and one of them has got to go.  And it appears as if the city has decided which one:

In a move condemned by critics as a tacit surrender to a ubiquitous noise, the Transportation Department is removing all “Don’t Honk” signs from the streets, and predicts there will be none left by the end of the year.

City officials said the move was part of an effort to declutter the streets of often ignored signs.

The Transportation Department noted that since 2008, complaints to 311 about honking have declined 63 percent citywide, to 1,796 in 2012 — suggesting that either honking has waned or tolerance has risen.

Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the department, said that while the reason for the drop was unclear, “we’re not aware of any evidence that the signs have had any impact at locations where they’ve been installed.”

Rules of the road, NYC-style

How much money was wasted in creating the signs, putting them up, maintaining them, and now tearing them down after their uselessness has been demonstrated?   We'll never know, as this crime of stupidity was committed by de facto Democrats, whom have lifetime immunity from the media.  My guess, however, is that the law will still be selectively enforced, when and where it suits the government's needs.

 And  has New York learned its lesson about trying to create a perfect society in an imperfect world?

Really?  Do you remember who's running this town?  Nanny Bloomberg ain't nowhere near out of stupid ideas yet:

The Taxi of Tomorrow, which is expected be phased into the citywide fleet late this year, was outfitted with both a “low-annoyance” horn and a set of amber horn lights that illuminate the vehicle’s roof panel whenever a driver honks.

“It’s a bit of a public shaming device,” said David S. Yassky, the city’s taxi commissioner...

Sigh. Just what we needed.

You know, liberals would be a lot more tolerable if they had the ability to actually learn a lesson from reality every now and again...

And on a side note...doesn't Bloomberg's "Taxi of Tomorrow"...

...look a lot like the taxicab (or "Johnny Cab") from the original Total Recall?

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