Honking at Someone Giving Way Unnecessarily

Hey Guys

Is it wrong/unacceptable to honk at someone who gives way unnecessarily?

I was driving last Thursday when the car in front of me (Nissan Micra) stopped to give way to a pedestrian at a refugee island. As far as I know you do not need to stop at a refugee island unless there are signs stating to give way to pedestrians this did not have no marking or signage. And its not like the pedestrian ran in front of the car or did something stupid he walked calmly onto the island and waited .

The driver of the SUV or truck behind me honked and leaned on his horn and its not like he didn't see the pedestrian either because the truck was pretty high up and I drive a 86 with a Subaru badge :) and the car in front of me was a Micra so he would have seen what was happening.

So it is wrong to honk and abuse someone who is being nice to a pedestrian by letting them cross when its not a designated crossing or is the car in front obstructing traffic for giving way unnecessarily?

I am not talking whether it's legal obviously its not in this situation. But morally

Correction/clarification for those who aren't aware - I wasn't the one who stopped. There was actually a car in front of me who stopped at the island so pretty much I am in between the Nissan and the idiot leaning on the horn.


  • +1

    his honk was unnecessary, for example it could have been possible there was a dog or a small kid or a bird on the road which neither of you saw in that moment, or the person was about to dash across the road earlier but then slowed down, so the Nissan paused to give way.

    People just need to be more patient these days….

    The truck isn't technically wrong, but also may not see the full situation. What can they do anyway, but wait behind. There could be a hazard ahead and rushing people is not going to help.

  • +4

    Recently car in front of me stopped in middle of road without any pedestrian sign, for pedestrian. I stopped too, however car behind me nearly slammed into my back! In my opinion it’s not wise to stop un necessarily.

    • I've almost been that third car! Going along Pittwater Rd, car 1 stopped for a dog walker about an extra car length from the roundabout giveway spot. I had to hit the brakes a bit harder to stop (mildly panicked). The really annoying and stupid thing is that there were no cars behind me so it actually took more time for the pedestrian to cross.

  • +3

    Road rage strikes again. How unexpected.

  • +2

    To avoid unexpected consequences, a "courtesy tap" is warranted.
    (indirect plug for "Unhinged")

  • +4

    Yes… illegal to use horn in such situation.
    Stopping for someone simply standing on an island is highly dangerous and equally illegal.

  • +3

    I think that we need 2 honk options in our cars.
    A little beep being polite and to mean "thanks buddy" or "wake up darling" and that would have been suitable in this case.
    And a nuclear explosion honk to scare the crap out of already nervous drivers and cause them to panic and have an unnecessary accident.

  • +3

    Don't be nice, be predictable. Follow the road rules and we all know what is happening.

    As a cyclist a lot of people give way to me when they shouldn't. They do this when merging onto a major road in my city. At best, they give way to me with nobody behind them making their act pointless (I could have gone earlier, once they had passed at a sensible speed), and at worst they create traffic by bottlenecking the road, destroying the natural opportunities for bicycles to cross.

    I try not to react negatively because I don't want to provoke a road rage incident (which I'd clearly lose) but there are many many times where I've unleashed a torrent of abuse.

    As a teen I used to encounter that exact OP scenario as the pedestrian. I used to stand their and eyeball the driver and see how long it would take for them to crack. This wasn't a righteous thing though, I was just being annoying. Still, they should know better.

  • +1

    look at it this way,how would the truck driver feel if because of his honking it scared the first 2 vehicles and they jumped the gun and hit the person crossing the road,curtesy is the name of the game,if a driver of any vehicle can't spare a few seconds to allow a common act of decency they shouldn't be on the road,the horn is but a warning device that may/does save lives or injury to a person /s it should not be used as a bullying/ abusive and a threatening weapon.
    I am 78 yrs been driving since I was 16yrs 10 months and have never lost a demerit point,never received a speeding fine,I have had 3 accidents and was not at fault in any according to police reports,wake up Australia we have too many bullies in all avenues of our lives,use curtesy and think of what you have just done and you will feel good and proud that you did it. be kind,be safe and have a good life,think happy that someone will remember you for that little bit of curtesy when nobody else will in any other way..
    regards and enjoy our roads,do not turn them into battle grounds,nobody leaves battle grounds unscathed.

  • +6

    People being 'nice' and letting others push in fascinate me.

    I see it a lot on the way to work. Most cars are sitting on the major roads waiting patiently to get to work. A bunch of weasels sneak through the suburbs and then try to push in to the queue. And instead of making them sit there waiting for a break in the traffic, there is always some kind soul who insists on letting them in whilst feeling proud of themselves for being such a nice person.

    It doesn't seem to occur to them that:

    1. They are rewarding and encouraging rude behaviour in the form of people rat-running and pushing in.

    2. They are literally holding up dozens of cars behind them to let this one rat runner push in.

    It's like they only measure kindness and convenience in terms of what is literally in front of them, without a thought for what is behind them.

    My favourite is when they do this near traffic lights, so that they cause half a dozen people to miss the lights while they let some rando push in. Apparently it doesn't cross their mind that they just wasted 1-2 minutes of time for 6+ people in order to save one person a minute or two of waiting.

  • Refugee island. Love it.

    Have all your mates just been letting you call them this?

  • +1

    If there was traffic and the car was already stopped or going slow. Then ok to let the refugees walk across.

    But if the car is just driving down normally and stopped for them where there's no give way to peds sign, then that's illegal

    It's also illegal for the 4wd twat to use their horn in this situation

  • If it's a straight road and not much traffic behind, cars shouldn't have stopped. They would have driven past quickly and the pedestrian's crossed when it was safe.

  • +1

    I think the safe thing is to obey road rules and not do anything unexpected. Yes, giving way to people is nice, but if the person in the very front giving way to pedestrians means cars behind get caught off guard and have to emergency brake, it's very bad.

    I think this is almost as bad as what I encountered some time ago. I was cruising along a 70km/h road behind a car, then suddenly the car hard stopped in the middle of the road, I was pretty focused so I was able to brake just in time. 1-2 seconds later, the car in front turned on her indicator light wanting to turn right. So what happened was that, she missed the chance to get on the right lane, and now she hard braked to a complete stop wanting to get to the right lane. I was sweating and honked her for a good 5-10 seconds until she started moving forward.

    Those "nice" people are almost as bad as the horrific driver I described above. They do unexpected behaviours that may cause accidents.

  • +2

    Exact something happened today and I thought about this post immediately. A car stopped in the middle of the road to let two elderly men waiting at a small island to cross the road. Now this was on a busy 60km/h two lane street. The car was stopped on the right lane and I was a couple cars behind. The left lane was empty when he stopped but immediately after the pedestrians were on the road, a car on the left lane comes 'flying' past. I honked because I was absolutely fuming at how this idiot thinks it's safe for someone to cross two lanes. I felt like a d**k afterwards but people shouldn't be doing this on multi lanes.

    • You're not a dick. Without honking that driver wouldn't be discouraged from doing it in the future and people's safety are at risk.

  • +2

    This is what happens when you give right of way being "nice" YOU CAUSE ACCIDENTS.

    Granted this example Im going to link have may have 2 idiots, speeing when cars around you have stopped and another idiot crossing a straight unbroken white line. https://youtu.be/5qiFPg3DotE?t=718 timestamped for your pleasure.

  • I actually do not like it when cars stop to let me walk past them. It's stupid and not in the road rules.
    Inversely I almost always run over people because they think I'll randomly stop for them when I have right of way in a car

    • +2

      No, you do not have right of way; there’s no such thing.

      • Are you suggesting that pedestrians can just walk onto a road whenever they want and cars have to stop or avoid them?
        This isn't SE Asia.

        • +2

          pedestrians can just walk onto a road whenever they want

          kood wasn't suggesting this

          cars have to stop or avoid them

          This isn't something that anyone has to be telling you because this has been legislated: https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/safety-rules/road-rules/ped...

          "You must also give way to pedestrians – even if there is no marked pedestrian crossing – if there is any danger of colliding with them"

          And as the other person stated, there's no right of way - it's only a matter of who needs to give way, but nobody has an absolute "right of way". If you wilfully cause an accident because you exercised your imaginary right of way, you may be facing potential jail time depending on how bad the accident is.

          • @CocaKoala: Late reply from me, so thanks CocaKoala for understanding and further clarifying what I mean.

            Now that I'm on my desktop, I'd like to offer a bit more - whether anyone reads this at this point is another matter :)

            There is an attitude of some drivers that I see, which can best be summed up as

            "I am on this section of the road, and it belongs to me"

            This may seem like a perfectly correct and sensible way of thought, and you may think me crazy for suggesting otherwise, but how it shows up in general is this driver feels entitled to be the sole user of the road/lane, and anyone else needs to get out of the way, including:

            • someone crossing the side street where there are no lights
            • someone whose lane is blocked unexpectedly, and needed to change into your lane (no, not talking about those who deliberately cut in undertaking from the parking lane); specifically those who would prevent the merge into their lane by speeding up
            • someone crossing a driveway
            • in general, the "might is right" group who believe just because they get into a lane first then it's theirs; I was changing lanes, and the car behind me swerved quicker into the next lane before I was fully in (because they did the "signal and change lanes at the same time" manoeuvre) and they got all aggro at me

            Of course, it's not black and white, I also get angry at people who just walk onto the road and expect drivers to stomp on the brakes, or drivers who duck and weave, giving others very little notice to accommodate them, but then it shows these are the ones who feel entitled to the road.

            And speaking as someone who has observed both the elderly and kids on the streets, you cannot expect them to be 100% predictable, even if they are with their carers. As people who drive these powerful metal boxes, it is up to us to look out for them.

            The more I think about this, the more I realise how nuanced our thinking has to be, and that's probably the best reason I can offer that we need to both be patient on the road, and exercise judgement as best as we can in order to not add to the road statistics.

        • +1 Some people are an outright danger to be on the road if they lack knowledge of road rules and common sense.

  • +3

    generally I don't "honk" the car in front of me, because I can't see what's in front of them. Just because I can't see something on the road there, doesn't mean there isn't something there.

    So, occasionally, it's the driver in front daydreaming, and they take off like a bat outta hell as the lights turn orange - eh, no big deal, it's another two or three minutes.

  • +1

    In news today,

    Adelaide: Driver who stopped to help koala causes six-car cash on South Eastern Freeway


    • Would love to see a dash cam footage of this.

  • I came across a situation vaguely like this the other day.

    A 4 lane road (2 lanes each way with a small nature strip in the middle), shortly after coming off a round about, a SUV in the right lane came to a sudden stop. I slowed down to a reasonable speed and switched to the inside lane to pass. Turns out, the driver was yielding to a kid to cross the road. I can only imagine what would have happened if the kid didn't have the common sense to wait and bolted in front of the waiting SUV.

    It can be dangerous for the pedestrians when you do this. It's unexpected. Other vehicles may pass, overtake or even crash into you and push you into/over the pedestrian. Since it is potentially a dangerous circumstance, I feel a beep is appropriate in this situation. Leaning on the horn implies something completely different.

  • +2

    Do not give way if you do not have right of way unless you are avoiding an accident by doing so!

    You might think you're being "nice", but all you are in fact doing is discarding a well known, established set of rules followed by everybody that dictate a precise order of operations when there is contention for a single piece of road by multiple vehicles.

    What you are now doing is making up your own rules. The only person who knows your intentions when you give way out of turn is you. This causes accidents.

    Also, you're gonna make people mad when you let people "push in" at the head of the queue. You just delayed hundreds of people for the convenience of one; you aren't the High Director of Traffic and you don't speak for everyone!

  • One of my biggest pet peeves. You are inconveniencing others behind you so you can feel like you're doing a nice thing.

    Letting one car in is fair enough if you are already stationary but deliberately slowing down to give way can cause an accident.

    Morally, it is still wrong unless someone ran across or are already crossing very slowly.

    Would it be morally okay to let a person cut in front of you if there is already a big line behind you?

  • +1

    Worse is if there are two lanes and one guy decides to stop to let someone pass….except a car in the other lane doesn't see any of this and hits the pedestrian you waved by. 😱

  • -3

    one guess the nationality of said idiot driver.

    • +3

      Its probably your nationality

  • Horns are a warning device to use for your safety.

    Most people in Australia react to a horn like you are pulling a gun on them .. I don't know why.

    • +1

      It's because people get upset and offended if you call them out for doing something wrong or stupid. They often can't handle the embarrassment and shame, or don't feel it's appropriate to be called out for it.

    • I'm sensitive to noise - sudden noise spikes my adrenalin and makes me jump - it's actually a kind of assault on my senses !

      like if someone shouts in your ear suddenly without warning - why would you get upset - is like 'I only hit his head with a hammer ONCE - why is he getting upset ?'

      a horn is an emergency warning device - in heavy traffic its purpose is to warn of imminent collision so the other may take immediate evasive action

      using it to indicate 'I'm not happy' is a selfish abuse of a loud noise as a bullying tactic and just simply rude and offensive

      I like when I hear a horn used in city stationary traffic - often at a vehicle blocking a cross-intersection - where the driver presumably seeks to call public attention to the R Soul in front of them

      so what does everyone do - turns and stares at the R Soul - who's pressing the horn button …

      • +1

        A horn is used to warn others of various situations, not purely for the use of imminent collisions. Have you ever used the horn to beep someone because a light was green and you've waited for a good 5 seconds but because they were on their phone, they didn't know?

  • 'SUV or truck' behind is significant - a semi-trailer forced to brake suddenly would be unsafe - and could cost the Micra driver

    'Rule 53 (2) Not give sufficient warning of stopping … $194'

    but if they braked slowly that could suggest the SUV truck driver was just being an impatient R Soul like get outta my far kin way, etc.

    NSW fine for sounding horn unnecessarily - I think the definition used to be not an emergency -

    'Rule 224 Use/allow use of horn/warning device unnecessarily … $349' -


    An older article -

    'While it may be tempting to use your car horn in instances where you are simply frustrated, to be on the safe side, it is best to leave using it to emergency situations.

    The key to using your horn legally is to keep your temper in check when driving.

    Road rage is one of the main reasons why people use their horns in an improper way, and this kind of behaviour is a hazard in itself.

    Staying off your horn, unless you really need to use it, allows you to keep your cool and in turn, prevents other road users from becoming angered too.' - https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/blog/whats-the-law...

    • My understanding of Rule 53 (2) is that its effectively for people 'brakes testing' other cars, or for people with dodgy/broken break lights that don't give the 'stop signal'.

      Rule 53 (2)
      (2) If the driver is stopping, the driver must give the stop signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other road users.
      Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.

      The argument is always that 'sufficient time is my stopping distance, and I had to stop as quickly as possible because a hazard entered the road'

      I think the only way to interpret 'sufficient warning' is along side with Rule 126
      126 Keeping a safe distance behind vehicles
      A driver must drive a sufficient distance behind a vehicle travelling in front of the driver so the driver can, if necessary, stop safely to avoid a collision with the vehicle.
      Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.

      So TLDR: Just because someone is tailgating you and breaking rule 126, doesn't mean you can break test them as you break rule 53 (2).

      Edit: Just had a thought, probably is also to stop people using the Hand Break to causes shannigans where you stop without break lights. Seems like a terrible thing to put your car through though.

  • he must be late to the worksite, and truck stopping starting

  • If you are an Untitled Goose, it is fine.


  • In this case it was illegal to honk his horn

  • Some of these replies are hilarious. "Stopping without warning?" WTF are you looking at? (Obviously not the brake lights or the fact there is a car slowing down in front of them?)

    Unless it's a panicking granny in the front I have never seen anyone "suddenly brake" if they are being nice to a pedestrian waiting at a crossing island.

  • honestly just send em back. let some other country take them

  • -1

    Aussie peeps tailgate like rabid butt sniffers, stopping as a kind act would indeed cause accidents.

    Never give way to anything unless the road rules explicitly mandates it in clear wording, pedestrians or not.

    No such thing as kindness in the eyes of the law of the land.

  • +1

    What pisses me off more is at traffic light the oncoming car turning right trys to turn before a car in front of me to do a left turn.

  • -1

    Serious question, if you're not meant to lean on the horn, why don't they change them so you can't, eg a button or something?

    • I think it's kind of the same as - why do they have lights in the fridge if you are not supposed to eat at night :D

  • SMH

  • -2

    I'd like to consider myself as a cutie pie and attempt to always give way to pedestrians/other vehicles where it is deemed safe.
    Do i expect a reward or an nomination for Australian of the year? Not at all, however it is nice to get an acknowledgement of a small wave of appreciation
    Would people think I'm a douche bag on oz bargain? Probably, but they shouldn't

  • obstructing traffic for giving way unnecessarily which will annoy anyone in peak hour when there could be a clear run ahead and may cause accidents

    honk away just a small one

  • So person slows/stops to let pedestrian finish crossing road
    Person behind honks because theyre impatient and entitled
    person in front then gives the bird
    Road Rage ensues.

  • -1

    I would've decked you with my cricket bat.

    The horn isn't for drivers giving way to pedestrians who want to do the wrong thing. Just get over it and move on if you don't want the finger put up at you.

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