By editorial board • 

Honk once for First Amendment, more than once for noise citation

Dayton resident Irving Villarreal was fined in McMinnville Municipal Court last month for honking his horn in support of a March 9 Occupy Wall Street protest near U.S. Bank downtown.

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I agree.


�A person commits the offense of violation of use limits on sound equipment if the person does any of the following: Uses a horn otherwise than as a reasonable warning or makes any unnecessary or unreasonably loud or harsh sound by means of a horn or other warning device."

exercising ones freedom of speech or supporting a cause is one thing, but when you cause a disturbance and annoyance for others around you and possibly cause a crash or worse because of the distraction, you need to take responsibility for it.

I'm sure none of you would be screaming this was freedom of speech if a pedestrian was hit by a car because the driver was distracted by the horn and looking for a possible danger themselves, all because this kid was honking his horn the distance of an entire block. This is getting ridiculous. These traffic laws are made for everyone's safety.

Car makers don't install horns in vehicles so you can exercise your freedom of speech. it's a warning device, to be used for safety.

Pay the fine and get over it.


Browser, do people get citations when celebrating their team's victories by honking their horns? And what about weddings? This is an obvious violation of first amendment rights. Invoking some statute in a particular instance because the authorities don't like the message is very 1984-ish. Open your eyes.


"....but when you cause a disturbance and annoyance of others around you and possibly cause a crash or worse because of the distraction, you need to take responsibility for it."

And if she..or..he hadn't been wearing a mini-skirt...and if he..or..she hadn't been walking on stilts... .



So, in your opinion, who owns the chiropractors bill on that one. You the gawker with the crick in the neck..or..the walker drumming up business?


It's another excuse for McMinnville police to impose a random tax on a citizen.

troy prouty

In the article "resident Helen Immelt" Yet there was a little more to that story than the horn and dispute of chickens, there was what happened prior and prior to that etc..etc.. such it is in the Sultan Basin I guess.

I agree, a warning is something I think could have been applied. I always try to tell myself what other people do and say is really more about them and less about me, this is even true with law enforcement.

Troy Prouty*


A warning would have sufficed here. Surely his surname would have nothing to do with the fact that he was issued a citation. No way a Mr. Smith would do that...


Well said Browser123. I agree 100%
Marovich1, How do you know the authorities don't like the message?
I'm grateful for the excellent police we have here in Yamhill county. They are willing to risk their lives every day to protect us ALL, including those of us that don't respect them.


And while I'm at it, these 99% vs 1% delusional crybabies need to just get over it. We are the UNITED states of America. We come together as 100% to solve our problems. So quit trying to divide us with this class warfare crap. It's never worked and it never will. The leaders of the democratic party have been trying this stuff for years now. Ask Obama and Pelosi how it's working out for them...


Marovich1- How abut if I come over to the font of your house with an air horn and exercise my freedom of speech? I mean, it may cause an inconvenience to you, but thats my1st. amendment right correct?

Driving is not a game, it requires experience and skill as well as concentration. Especially when your traveling down a very busy, narrow street with hundreds of pedestrians walking back and forth across the road. To look for the source of someones horn is not "gawking." It is being alert and looking for potential danger. We all know that a horn is most o the time used as a warning device or to get someone's attention.

Pushing a button to create a loud, annoying noise is not speech.

Enough of all this violation of my rights crap. It's a violation of my rights to have to listen to someone blaring their horn down an entire city block.


You know you're living in a small town community when a horn honk draws this much attention. Out this way, horn blasts are more often taken as friendly howdy do's of sorts as people drive by. Whereas with you folks in the city, they're general intended to mean something else.

I myself generally employ what I refer to as 'the quick double tap' as I roll by, and more than just a few others do as well. Wish I could say I feel your pain, but, I don't. I do feel sorry for you, though.


Mack,my comment was pointing out the selective enforcement of the horn honking. Your questioning my patriotism is uncalled for.

troy prouty

posted "We come together as 100% to solve our problems"

I will call you on that.

I doubt we have ever done that. In fact I can say that Captialism is the most used tool for segregation of classes of people through wealth that defines much of the problems we face. Not only that, but it deems the "me first" thinking that leads to much serious problems. Crime for one.

If Representatives are suppose to represent their district, why a party?

Because Districts are made up of all sorts of opinions on issues, and even if a persons district would not vote for something, doesn't mean the rep will - because their party might think differently.

Everything this Country has EVER done, is based on seperation of people in one form or another. That is reality!

Troy Prouty*


I guess all laws don't apply to all citizens. I live in a rural area of McMinnville and
while I realize it is an agricultural area, the neighbors have an air cannon. This noise contraption goes off every 1:38 seconds from May until September from 8 am until 5 pm. I have called the Yamhill county sheriff 3 times to ask someone to come out and help get this noise stopped or at least on a longer timer. The officers never come out to help. They asked me to contact my neighbor and talk to them about it. I don't even know where the cannon is located and have no desire to "hunt it down".
There is no logic for shooting this cannon from 8 am until 5 pm every day from May until Sept. I do understand the need at certain times of the year and can accept that.
This noise is much worse than a car horn blowing for a block or two. But the police were all over that. Its like living in a war zone here and unlike the horn that stopped blowing after a few blocks this air cannon never stops.
We need helpout here and the police have been no help... no money to be made here I guess.


" I don't even know where the cannon is located and have no to "hunt it down".

I here ya on that one bro, indy north of me, the ratta-tat-tat, tat-tat-tat, tatat-tatat-tat-tat tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat sometimes followed by an occasional karumph-krump does seem to get a bit excessive at times, but reality is, only having lived at this particular address for the six years...I'm the new guy on the block,and if I wasn't going to enjoy living next to a bazooka range, I probably shouldn't have moved in next to one.

But I did, and still am, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


(oops, sorry about the misquote, it was not my desire to do that)


Do you make your living in law enforcement?


I absolutely agree with the car maker statement- and believe that is the most logical. Car makers do not install horns so that someday Joe Smith may cheer his son on at a game, or Jane Smith may honk at her daughters wedding.

They are installed for safety, and as a driver of many years I have grown to really despise those who honk randomly to a friend or at an event, specifically because it leaves me wondering if there is a hazard on the road somewhere- did a kid come out and I not see him, did I almost hit someone- did the light change without my noticing- whatever the case may be.

Just because some moron decide he wanted to use a horn at a wedding one day doesn't mean the action was right, lawful, or correct- and just because it caught on as a trend STILL does not mean it is right, lawful or correct to do so. Its like a cars way of texting- communicating without using words. The car is not a person, therefore it is not a free speech issue. It's not the car's fault it has a moron behind the wheel who is incapable of pulling over and using his voice in support of something.

This kid violated an ordinance, kudos to the officer who cut the ticket, and kudos to those who can realize that honking a horn is not a free speech issue, it's simply annoying. Use your words for free speech, they are much more powerful.


I don't make my living in Law Enforcement. But ever since I was a little kid I have always been fascinated by the police. Clear up till I was about age 18 I told everyone that I was going to be a cop. But after getting married, my wife said no way, no how.
I'm now middle aged and still have a secret desire to be in law enforcement. I have even done a ride along with our Mac Police a few years ago. The cop I rode with was a really nice guy with a good heart and a genuine desire to serve the community. If they still allow those with this new chief, you ought to consider it. It's amazing what these guys do in the course of a 10 hour shift.
The whole concept of law enforcement just intrigues me. I guess that's why I always come to their defense here on these boards.


Who was the victim of this crime?

Case Closed....There isn't one. besides the one being fined.


Don't be so hasty Ron, Think carefully about it. There was a victim.
Here is a clue: Think of the extreme. Think if this law wasn't on the books and everyone on third street that morning drove the length of a block honking at the same time. Who would be the victim(s)?


My guess would be anyone that couldn't afford their own a horn to honk back with.
Think about it Mack, Think of the extreme. ....heY! Barrack Obama!...FREE HORNS FOR EVERYBODY!


Sorry Mack there was no victim here. Take anything to the extreme and you can make up victims. This case involves one person only, don't exaggerate.


Freedom of speech must be a 1 time thing.


Thanks for your response Mack.

I'm sure we are all looking at this differently based on our own life's experiences. I know there are some good police officers out there (I have some friends in law enforcement), but it has been my experience that the vast majority of them are tainted. I could go on for hours giving examples of the corruption I have witnessed in our local police.

I think they're betraying the public wasting resources on silly stuff like horn honking when we have real criminals out there. It's MY opinion that it's all about $160.00.

I got a seat belt ticket and my wife got a ticket for running a yellow light. Watching the amount of revenue the Mac Municipal court brings into that new building every hour over silly stupid fines to tax paying law abiding citizens disgusts me.

They always say they don't have the resources to fight crime but they have plenty of money to spend on another motorcycle patrol officer (I call em' random tax gatherers).

Follow the money...

For anybody wondering; I personally have no criminal record.


"I personally have no criminal record."

Good for you, Silencedogood.



I didn't mean to sound pious, I just read my comment before I posted and thought it might sound like I'm a cop basher because I'm a criminal... Notice I said "I don't have a record" I didn't say I've never been arrested back in the 80's when I was a teenager ; )


Most people don't have criminal records, I hadn't thought you were being pious.


I'm a convicted felon myself, of 1st degree Burglary.


I doubt this was the action of an overzealous police officer or a municipal court hungry for revenue to pay off the new police building. It sounds to me like the guy honked for an entire city block, a police officer heard the honking (based on the driver turning right and immediately being pulled over), wondered what the problem was, found out it was someone randomly honking, and had to give the guy a ticket because it IS against ORS 815.225. Villarreal called attention to himself and was rewarded for it. End of story. There will, however be conspiracy theorists and transplanted Idaho survivalists who just want to "stick it to the man," so I'm not surprised this is such a big story. I got a ticket last year in Salem by a motorcycle cop because I went into the left turn lane before it was allowed, driving by cars and the motorcycle cop. Salem is many times bigger than Mac, and it was a minor offense compared to the calls that officer could have responded to. It was still my bad.

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