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Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999

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Audible warning instruments

44.—(1) (a) Subject to sub-paragraph (b), a motor vehicle which has a maximum speed of more than 20 mph shall be fitted with a horn, not being a reversing alarm or a two-tone horn;

(b)sub-paragraph (a) shall not apply to an agricultural motor vehicle, unless it is being driven at more than 20 mph.

(2) Subject to paragraph (6), the sound emitted by any horn, other than a reversing alarm or a two-tone horn, fitted to a wheeled vehicle first used on or after 31st December 1976 shall be continuous and uniform and not strident.

(3) A reversing alarm fitted to a wheeled vehicle shall not be strident.

(4) Subject to paragraphs (5), (6) and (7) a motor vehicle shall not be fitted with a bell, gong, siren or two-tone horn.

(5) Paragraph (4) shall not apply to a vehicle—

(a)used for fire brigade, ambulance or police purposes;

(b)owned by a body formed primarily for the purposes of fire salvage and used for those or similar purposes;

(c)owned by the Department of Agriculture and used from time to time for the purposes of fighting fires;

(d)owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and used for the purposes of the disposal of bombs or explosives;

(e)used for the purposes of the Blood Transfusion Service under Article 10 of the Health and Personal Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972(1);

(f)used by Her Majesty’s Coastguard or the Coastguard Auxiliary Service to aid persons in danger or vessels in distress on or near the coast;

(g)owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and used by the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Service for the purposes of rescue operations in connection with crashed aircraft or any other emergencies;

(h)owned by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and used for the purposes of launching lifeboats; or

(i)used as a cardiac response vehicle, being a vehicle used only for the purposes of transporting medical or nursing personnel and equipment to cardiac incidents.

(6) Paragraphs (2) and (4) shall not make it unlawful for a vehicle to be fitted with an instrument or apparatus (not being a two-tone horn) designed to emit a sound for the purpose of informing members of the public that goods on the vehicle are for sale.

(7) Subject to paragraph (8), paragraph (4) shall not make it unlawful for a vehicle to be fitted with a bell, gong or siren—

(a)if the purpose of it is to prevent theft or attempted theft of the vehicle or its contents; or

(b)in the case of a bus, if the purpose of it is to summon help for the driver, the conductor or an inspector.

(8) A bell, gong or siren fitted to a vehicle by virtue of paragraph (7)(a), and a device fitted to a motor vehicle first used on or after 1st October 1982 so as to cause a horn to sound for the purpose mentioned in paragraph (7)(a) shall be fitted with a device designed to stop the bell, gong, siren or horn emitting noise for a continuous period of more than five minutes, and a device so designed shall at all times be maintained in good working order.

(9) Instead of complying with paragraphs (1), (2) and (4) to (8), a vehicle may comply with Community Directive 70/388 or ECE Regulation 28 or, if the vehicle is an agricultural motor vehicle, with Community Directive 74/151.

(10) In this regulation and in regulation 116—

“horn” means an instrument, not being a bell, gong or siren, capable of giving audible and sufficient warning of the approach or position of the vehicle to which it is fitted;

references to a bell, gong or siren include references to any instrument or apparatus capable of emitting a sound similar to that emitted by a bell, gong or siren;

“reversing alarm” means a device fitted to a motor vehicle and designed to warn persons that the vehicle is reversing or is about to reverse; and

“two-tone horn” means an instrument which, when operated, automatically produces a sound which alternates at regular intervals between two fixed notes.

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