Train horns are a very popular way to modify a car or truck. They offer a loud clear sound that can be easily heard by other drivers making it a great option for emergencies or even regular driving. However, there are some legalities involved in train horns that you should be aware of before you buy hornblasters.
Nearly every state has a law that says horns on motor vehicles cannot emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound. Since these is a very vague term it is usually up to the police in your area whether or not your train horn fits this description. For many states cars are only allowed to have a horn that reaches 110 decibels. Most train horns that you buy have a range of 130 to 150 decibels. Therefore many states actually restrict air horn usage to emergency vehicles. If you are concerned about use of an air horn in your state it is important that you check your state laws or with your local law enforcement.
California is just one state within the U.S. that has very specific rules about train horn usage on passenger cars. You are allowed to have one installed on a passenger car but it cannot be used. If you drive a semi-truck then you are allowed to use an air horn as long it complies with FMVSS standards. If you fail to follow these guidelines you will like face a fee of over $100. Therefore it is important to make sure you know what the restrictions are before you install a train horn on your vehicle.
Georgia is another state that has very specific laws regarding train horns. In this state you are allowed to have a train horn that is hooked up to your alarm system. This would apply to your security system in the car. However it is not allowed to be used as a regular horn.
In addition to noise laws and laws regarding car horns, there are also laws regarding vehicle modification. In order to install a train horn on your car you will need to install several different parts such as an air tank and an air compressor. These additions to your car are considered modifications to the car and they must comply with modification laws. Most states do not have laws about whether or these parts can be installed on your car so often this is of little consequence in terms of legal concerns.
When it comes to installing a train horn on your car the biggest legal question is whether or it would be too loud to be considered a legal car horn. Since most states do restrict how loud a car horn can be you will need to check the specifications of the train horn you are considering and what you are planning to use it for. The penalties for using a train horn when it is against the law often consist of fines or tickets.