Is it illegal to use an air horn?

§ 55 StVZO (devices for acoustic signals)

Devices for acoustic signals

The Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO) contain numerous regulations on the nature of motor vehicles that move on public roads. Paragraph 55 of the StVZO deals exclusively with the equipment for acoustic signals. These include horns and horns. What is the penalty if the motor vehicle is not equipped with the appropriate equipment - or is defective? And when is the horn actually allowed?

Table of fines for § 55 StVZO

TBNROffensePenalty (€)
355000You drove the vehicle even though its sound signaling device was inadmissible / inadequate.15

FAQ: § 55 StVZO

What are the requirements for acoustic signals?

The StVZO stipulates that every vehicle must have a device for sound signals. The horn fulfills this function in cars.

When can the acoustic signals be used?

According to the StVO, this is only permitted in a dangerous situation or when overtaking outside of the city.

What happens if the vehicle does not have a sound signal facility?

The possible sanctions can be found in this table of fines.

"Motor vehicles must have at least one device for acoustic signals, the sound of which alerts endangered road users to the approach of a motor vehicle without frightening them and more than unavoidably annoying others." (§ 55 Paragraph 1 StVZO)

In the event that several facilities for acoustic signals are on the vehicle, according to the regulations, it must be ensured that only one of the horns or horns sound at the same time. That means every device must to operate separately be.


However, the sound frequency of the horn on the car or a corresponding device for sound signals must be a "With constant basic frequencies" (§ 55 Paragraph 2 StVZO) sound. This means that played melodies are not allowed. This could irritate other road users more than warn them.

And the paragraph also provides information on the maximum volume of the sound signals: At no time may the sound have a value of 105 decibels (dB) exceed. If the sound signal is too loud, people close by can be annoyed and even harmed by the noise.

They are different from cars and trucks Sound signals from fire brigade and police vehicles generated with a foghorn. Deviating from the regulations for horns may and must here fixed tone series be recognizable. In this way you can stand out from the normal sound signals of other vehicles and point out the particular danger situation.

Also smaller two-wheelers such as mopeds or bicycles must be equipped with appropriate devices for acoustic signals (§ 64a StVZO). However, a lightening bell is provided here. Other facilities are not permitted here and can also result in a fine.

If you violate a regulation for the installation of acoustic signals on motor vehicles - if these are defective, too quiet, too loud, etc. - then the authorities can intervene in the event of a traffic control Warning fee of 15 euros to raise.

But for what purpose can the horn actually be used? You will find the relevant provisions for using the vehicle horn in and out of town in Section 16 of the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO).

(55 Ratings, average: 4,44 of 5)
§ 55 StVZO (devices for acoustic signals)
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