Beeping your horn

Beeping your horn in Haiti and The Dominican Republic

When I first arrived in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, I heard cars beeping everywhere. Living in the states the last several years, beeping the horn only means bad things like road rage and curse words. However, in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic, it’s more of a friendly beep. It calls for attention that the driver is coming close to an intersection or around the corner. It’s more of a “I’m coming through” watch out. In major cities such as Port-au-Prince, Petionville, and Santo Domingo, there are few stop signs in the area. So people honk their horns a lot. Signaling to change lanes seems more like an afterthought. If a car is driving to slow, the driver will beep their horn to let them know that they are going to pass them on the right or left shoulders. In the United States, when a car is driving slow, people usually drive up close behind them, flash the high beams, or drive past them real fast and flip up the middle finger. Its more of a disrespect when people beep in the United States like “Beep” “Get the freak out of my way you idiot.” One thing I’ve noticed between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is that drivers in the Dominican Republic pay more attention to pedestrians. If you get hit in Haiti, its your fault for not paying attention.

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