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Our readers speak out

Use of train horns should be curtailed

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Attending “Pearl Harbor” at the Roxy Theater in Forsyth, we had endured the first-half love story to get to the action part that depicted the attack on Pearl Harbor and the later Doolittle Raid. It was a riot of noise – bombs and torpedoes exploding, machine guns rattling, cannons booming, etc. – but not loud enough to drown out the blaring of a train horn outside.

Did there have to be a train horn blaring outside? Nope. Anyone in the theater could visualize the traffic dutifully lined up behind the well-lit and belled drop bars with drivers clenching teeth against the unnecessary earbusting racket.

Does the law require such train horn trumpeting? Nope again. Communities throughout the U.S., fed up with such annoyance, have enacted ordinances to prohibit it.

Does horn honking prevent even unguarded crossing accidents? Non-winter mishaps are the result of a minimum of people undertaking incredibly stupid acts, no matter how much horns are sounded. Winter accidents are the outcome of closed and frosted windows, often with radios playing in passenger compartments, and no amount of klaxoning prevents the unfortunate consequences.

The negative influences of routine horn sounding: people who have been wrenched from sleep by the din are not efficient drivers or employees – plus, they tend to become irritable. Ever hear a train approaching and wait for it, steeled against the unavoidable eardrum assault? The necessity to close windows and operate air conditioners because of the unacceptable noise is a waste of energy.

There should be an end to guarded crossing horn blowing unless there’s some obvious reason to sound an alarm: that is, to prevent an actual potential accident.

Bob Schulze Hysham

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