There is Only One Reason You Can Legally Honk Your Horn in Idaho
There are fewer things runners hate more than being startled by a motorist honking their horn right behind them for no apparent reason at all.
Is it supposed to be a sign of encouragement? While they're probably grateful that you believe in them, an abrupt horn honk can drive your heart rate higher than picking up the pace.
Is it because you think you recognize them? Cool. Send them a text message once you've arrived at your destination saying "Hey! I think I saw you while you running!"
Is it because you think a girl in leggings is attractive? That's just creepy. Don't do it. At all.
It doesn't matter the reason if a runner is running safely down the sidewalk and is out of harm's way...motorists shouldn't be honking their horns at them at all. What they're doing is technically illegal in Idaho.
There's an Idaho Statute that discusses what equipment vehicles in Idaho have on them. In Title 49, Chapter 9, Section 49-957, it reads that vehicles operating on highways must have a horn that can be heard from no less than 200 feet away is required.
It also goes on to say:
"The driver of a motor vehicle shall when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation give audible warning with his horn, but shall not otherwise use the horn when upon a highway."
In this case, a highway refers to any way that is open to the public to travel in a vehicle, not just major freeways like I-184 and I-84. That means the ONLY reason you can blow your horn while on the road in Idaho is for safety reasons.
So, blow your horn because someone's drifting into your lane without signaling?
Blowing your horn because you're furious that someone just cut you off?
Honking at a texting pedestrian who's about to walk in front of your moving vehicle?
Honking at a runner who's safely on the sidewalk because you think they look good in those leggings?
Not legal. And creepy.
Honking at a car in front of you because they're not moving when the light turns green?
Legal, if you're doing it because they've become a traffic obstruction which is a safety issue. Not legal, if you're just doing it because you're annoyed.
Honking your horn from the street to let your child know that you're there to pick them up?
Technically illegal. But if you pull into a private driveway, you're good. Just don't be obnoxious. People have neighbors.
Now are the Boise Police or Idaho State Highway Patrol going to issue you a citation for it? Probably not, but we wouldn't tempt fate. The statute doesn't list what the penalty would be if you were cited for violating it.
By the way, excessive horn honking isn't the only bad driving habit that could potentially get you in trouble with the police. These are a few others you may or may not know about.