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Is It Illegal For A Truck Driver In Washington State To Honk Their Horn For Kids?

If you've been driving in Washington State and had a truck driver honk their horn at you, chances are you've got a kid in the back making the arm pump signal for a trucker to honk their horn.

Portrait of female truck driver standing by trucks at truck stop.
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As A Kid, Do You Remember Making The Arm Pump Signal For Truckers?

I remember being a kid in the back of my parent's car trying to get the truck driver to honk their horn when we passed them. It was an awesome thrill as a kid and it was awesome to teach my own kids the trick.

It's become a tradition for big rig drivers to toot their horns whenever they see a vehicle with youngsters in it, but is it actually legal In Washington State for them to do it?

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Seeing a big rig truck is always an exciting event for a young child. The size of the truck, the loud noise it makes, and the way it moves down the road are sure to capture their attention.

semi tractor trailer driving on the highway in the evening
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In the state of Washington, it is Illegal for truckers to honk their horns for kids --- sort of--

In an article posted by the Washington Trucking School, Truckers can honk their horns for kids in a non-emergency situation technically it's illegal but there is good news for the kids.

It's highly unlikely a trucker is going to get ticketed for honking their horn for some kids but the article goes on to discuss when a truck driver should hold off and using their arm pump

  • when you’re stuck in stand-still traffic
  • if there’s a bike rider or motorcycle driving nearby
  • if you’re in a construction zone
  • if you’re in a school zone

I've always wondered why when you've passed a trucker and sometimes they honk their horn and sometimes they don't.

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Truckers are advised to be aware of their surroundings at all times and if a trucker doesn't honk their horn for you, it might be a safety issue.

So there you have it. It can be illegal for a trucker to honk their horn in a non-emergency situation but highly unlikely they'll get a ticket for making some kids happy.

You can read more details about the law here.

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