Hawaii Driver Gets Ticket for Honking at Police Car That Allegedly Cut Her Off
No one should be above the beep.
A woman in Hawaii is fighting a traffic ticket she received for the very serious crime of honking her car's horn at a police officer as he allegedly cut her off at a four-way intersection outside Honolulu, KHON reports.
In what is literally a plot point from the latest season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lynette Atuaia received a $72 ticket for the "unnecessary use of horn" after she says she briefly beeped once at a car that appeared out of nowhere and passed her on the right as she crossed the intersection on the island of O'ahu. Unfortunately, it happened to be a police cruiser.
"I was afraid. I thought I was going to hit him. My initial reaction was, ‘Hey, get out of my way. I’m going to hit you. You’re cutting me off!'" she told KHON. "Then when I pulled over into the parking lot, he just said, ‘License and registration, I’m giving you a ticket for honking your horn.’ He said I should have seen I was an emergency vehicle, but he didn’t have his lights and sirens on as he was trying to cut me off or pass me."
According to Hawaii state law, drivers are only supposed to use their horns "when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation" in traffic—in other words, to warn others of the imminent risk of a collision.
Even though that's exactly what Atuaia claims she was doing, she still ended up with a citation. She told the station she plans on contesting it in court, which the Honolulu Police Department confirmed is her right "if [she] feels the ticket was issued in error."