Why N.Y. Cab Drivers Honk

A New York commission has sent out a wave of text messages to its taxi cab drivers reminding them that unnecessary honking will incur a $350 fine. Cabbie Mike Castillo speaks with host Scott Simon about the importance of the horn.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission reminded cabbies that honking is against the law except when warning of imminent danger. They could be fined $350 for using their horns, just to snagged affair, vent steam over traffic or jolt pedestrians are looking up at the skyscrapers and lingerie billboards to move more quickly. Mike Castillo has been driving for 30 years.

MIKE CASTILLO: Human stupidity in New York traffic is huge.

SIMON: And says cabbies ho when they spot dangerous less street smart drivers miss.

CASTILLO: When you drive for many years you become like master. You can tell the move of driver before you make it or even before that he think that he going to do that. So then you have to honk just to avoid an accident.

SIMON: Ed Levy, who has driven for three years, and now blogs about it says...

ED LEVY: The other night, I had a bike messenger just flying, you know, zigzagging in and out of traffic. I honked the horn, and usually when I honk I just give it a toot. But this particular time I held the horn down because there was another car coming up on the right side of me and I don't think he saw. And he tried and he stopped and then, you know, he blew his whistle and waved to me because he didn't see it.

SIMON: Saved by the horn.

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