The Car Horn

August 13th, 2011

By Stuart Starrs

The most important component of a car in Lima, as in many Latin American cities, is the horn. The horn is much more important than, for example, the breaks – one is used continuously during the course of driving, the other is practically never used.
Coming from an computer science background, I am considering inventing the auto-horn – a horn that sounds every second regardless of whether it is needed. I am quite sure this will make me rich.

What the horn means:

  • I am driving at 60kmph towards a crossing, you better get out of the way
  • I am also driving towards this crossing, you better get out of the way
  • I am a taxi – get in whether you want to or not
  • I am a combi – get in even though we are going the opposite way
  • I am changing lanes, I want to take the lane that is 4 lanes across to the left, in front of on-coming traffic, get out of my way
  • I am in a hurry, this horn negates that red light
  • I am coming up to a blind turn, but don’t feel like slowing down, if you hear this we’re probably going to die
  • Hello
  • Goodbye
  • Everything else

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