Train Horns - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Monday, May 7, 2007

Train Horns

If you drive on I-95, you've probably seen just about everything, but get ready to start hearing something you wouldn't expect. Drivers are installing super-loud air horns in their cars. They are so loud, it sounds like you're right next to a freight train!

With miles and miles of railroad tracks, South Florida is no stranger to train horns, but drivers are now hearing them in places where you wouldn't expect. Coming from other cars on the road, this is for lack of a better term, a train horn. It's 152 decibel. Kauff's Truck and Trailer in North Palm Beach installs them into regular vehicles. You can hear this horn 1.8 miles away.

Eric Tripode has two sets of those installed on his S-U-V. He's the drag strip manager at Moroso Motorsports Park. Watch what happens when he honks his train horn here.  Even Eric admits it can be dangerous if abused. Some medical experts say it could cause hearing loss if you're too close. At the very least, it could scare another driver into running off the road.

"They'll make you jump if you're not expecting it."

So are these horns legal? We checked. And the answer is yes. Florida statute does not prohibit train horns from being installed. However, it does say that "No horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound." but who's going to determine what's an unreasonable harsh sound?

"I think the only time they can become illegal is if the guy abuses them, whoever has them installed, abuses them."

The drivers we interviewed say they would never abuse it, but did admit to using their horns at drivers who made them unhappy.

"When people are sitting side by side in a 55 mile-per-hour zone doing 30. I use my normal horn. And then after that, I'll use the air horn and get them to move or whatever."

Tony here uses his smaller air horn to wake up drivers on their cell phones, honking the horn inside his truck He has air horns on all of his cars, trucks, even his boat, but he and his friend, Jeff admit it's less about use and more about show--a show that some say they'd rather not see or hear.
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