Life in Germany. Using your horn in Germany. Most drivers in Germany use their horn on a daily basis, often as a result of emotions caused by a traffic jam or the behaviour of other drivers. However, use of the horn is allowed in two situations.
Horn is permitted in emergency situations
The use of the horn is regulated in § 16 of the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO). Among other things, it states that the “beep”, as it is officially called, may not consist of a sequence of different high tones. In general, only those who “believe that they or other road users are in danger” may honk. This means that there must be a justifiable emergency situation that could lead to an accident. An example provided by Auto Club Europa is when another driver cuts you off.
Announcement of overtaking
Few drivers know that you can use the horn to announce an overtaking maneuver outside built-up areas. However, since hardly anyone does this in everyday life, this behavior can confuse the other driver.
When the light turns green and the car ahead of you is not moving fast enough, you must avoid sounding your horn. The same rules apply when using flashing lights. In some cases, the police turn a blind eye.
What are the penalties for illegal horn use?
Generally, anyone caught using the horn illegally can expect a fine of five euros. According to the ACE, the amount could rise to ten euros if others feel aggrieved by this.
Read also: Alcohol consumption while driving. What is the current limit in Germany?
Traffic sign many drivers are not familiar with and can be very costly
Drivers who violate this road sign face a penalty of 100 euros