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NYC to taxi drivers: Stop honking so much!

28/10/2011

(CBS News) 

If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, many might say the Big Apple is probably not the best place to live. But one city resident fed up with all the noise — specifically the incessant honking by New York City’s cab drivers — has spoken out, emailing the city about the problem. And the city has responded, issuing a warning to the city’s 13,000 drivers: Stop honking, or you could receive a $350 fine.

“Early Show” contributor Taryn Winter Brill reported the city’s message did include the caveat that it’s OK to honk when it’s an emergency.

In response, one cabbie told “The Early Show,” “It’s ridiculous, I mean, it’s impossible. This is New York.”

New York City Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky says it all may be part of the experience, but honking should only be used to avoid an accident.

He said, “The hustle-bustle is part of why people are drawn to New York, but everything when it gets to an extreme is too much. … I don’t think there are too many New Yorkers who say, ‘Yeah I want to see more honking.’ I think generally they want to see less.”

But for taxi drivers, time is money. And they say when distracted drivers aren’t moving, they need to honk to get their attention. And the $350 fine is crossing the line. Yassky says it’s not about the money.

“This isn’t really about enforcement,” he said. “We’re not talking about tons and tons of tickets. We’re just saying, ‘You’re part of the New York community. Be a good neighbor, don’t use the horn when you don’t need to.”‘

Yassky told “The Early Show” the city is currently working with sound engineers from Nissan to design a new fleet of taxis with “low annoyance horns” that won’t be grating to the ear.

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