Honk-free days: Why India needs an initiative like this?
The Delhi Govt. came up with a unique idea to curb air pollution in the country’s capital through odd-even rationing. When this initiative was conceptualized, many people questioned its effectiveness to curb air pollution. The efficacy of such an initiative is a topic of debate, but one thing that this odd even rationing accomplished is that it increased awareness about air pollution among masses.
Vehicles with noisy horns in Mumbai won’t get fitness certificates, says transport dept
To curb noise pollution from incessant honking, the transport department has decided to ban shrill, multi-toned and loud horns from vehicles — old and new. Officials said fitness certificates will not be issued to vehicles violating the norm.
The regional transport offices (RTOs) of Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Department (MMVD) have initiated a month-long campaign – No honking (Horn Nako) to urge motorists to refrain from incessant honking.
At present, there are no rules on permissible sound levels for honking or vehicular noise at traffic junctions in India. Horns in Mumbai emanate noise as high as 110 decibels (dB) – equal to the noise levels at a rock concert.
Manoj Saunik, principal secretary, state transport and ports department, told HT that all vehicles will have to abide to the 87dB(A) noise limit with just 13dB(A) limit for horns over the engine noise of 74dB(A), as per existing rules under the Motor Vehicles Act.
“People are honking incessantly, and this needs to stop,” said Saunik. “While registering vehicles, we will check the noise level of the horns. If norms are violated, they will be removed. But if a vehicle owner insist on keeping a noisy horn, fitness certificates (for the vehicle) will not be issued, and he/she may be fined.”
Saunik added that in a situation where noise levels from horns do not breach existing rules, during registration, but are modified later, the vehicle owner will be tracked and appropriate action will be initiated.
“Fitting multi-toned and shrill horns has been disallowed under transport rule provisions. If any vehicle fitted with such unauthorised or illegally fitted horns are found during renewal of fitness certificates, such horns need to be removed and the vehicle should not be passed until legally acceptable horn is fitted. These instructions need to be strictly followed with immediate effect,” read the instruction issued by the department on Tuesday.
Saunik added the Mumbai RTO identified 52 busy traffic junctions in Mumbai where officers will be stationed to prevent motorists from honking and check noise levels.
“The process began on Monday. We want citizens to support this campaign, during which we will request them not to honk with the ultimate goal of having a quieter city. Once we receive citizens’ support, those violating the norm will be fined and it will serve as deterrence to others,” he said.
Non-governmental organisation Awaaz Foundation, which conducted several anti-honking campaigns in the city, met Saunik and other officials from the transport department on Tuesday. “It is good that the RTO and the government are taking initiative against honking and will support our campaign as well. While awareness is extremely important, and we have been pushing for a complete stop on honking, enforcement is equally important. If both these aspects do not go side-by-side, then such a campaign cannot be effective,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.
Horns, not OK, please
HT had reported in February this year that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) banned pressure, multi-toned and musical vehicle horns. In a notification to state pollution boards and the police in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Navi Mumbai and Thane, the CPCB said that drivers should not be allowed to honk needlessly, continuously or more than necessary, especially in silence zones.
Did you know?
13,883: Cases related to incessant honking and use of pressure, musical or reverse horns were filed by traffic police in 2016
Rs15.79 lakh: Amount collected in fines between January and December
(Source: Mumbai Traffic police)
This Man Hasn’t Honked in 28 Years
“It was a sultry afternoon at J.P. Nagar, and I was trying to catch an auto for the past half an hour. Having been rejected by a number of auto Drivers, I was finally greeted with a smile by Mr. Rajesh.
We started a conversation on how Bangalore has changed over years. Mr. Rajesh surprisingly did not complain about the weather, which usually is my complaint most of the times. He exclaimed that the biggest evil according to him is noise pollution right now.
In his impeccable English, he told me he has not used his vehicle’s horn in 28 years. The last he used the horn was in October, 1988. I was taken aback at this commendable feat that he had achieved.
Shraddha Kapoor & Varun Dhavan Take Charge to Promote Anti-honking Drive with Mumbai Police
In an appreciable joint initiative, Red FM & Mumbai police launched an Anti-honking campaign, recently. The campaign was supported and endorsed actively by Bollywood Actors Shraddha Kapoor & Varun Dhawan.
Why Should Honking Be Completely Banned from India?
There is no doubt that honking is a menace to Indian roads and the society. People continue to indulge in increasing noise pollution on Indian roads despite knowing its severe health impacts. Already, people in India are inconsiderate towards honking and give all sorts of funny and unjustifiable reasons to honk. We collated some of their given reasons here. As honking is not justified by any valid reason in modern times and particularly does not give any positive benefit, we think it should be completely banned.
1100+ Offenders fined for Honking in Pune
According to a local news source, almost 1100+ people in Pune were fined as police found them indulged in unnecessary honking at signals. Read more about the report below:
3 Funny Reasons People Use to Justify Honking on Indian Roads
Indian drivers are the most peculiar species. They honk incessantly without any valid reason. Instead of using the virtue of patience, most of the drivers believe in the virtue of noise pollution (honking) to make their way through traffic. In such a scenario, finding an answer to noise-pollution and honking is quite challenging.
Multiple surveys revealed that honking is considered as a part of driving culture in India. Drivers feel that they mitigate the risk of collision through honking in India. After several personal interviews and studies we collated some of the funniest reasons about why people honk in India. Here are they:
- Honking makes my day and helps me de-stress
A lot of people working in corporate jobs feel that honking is necessary and makes them feel free of their job stress. “Drive time is when I prepare myself for work or to de-stress when going home. I’d rather use my horn to vent my frustration and maintain inner calm,” a corporate professional working in Mumbai reveals.
How absurd and illogical it is to honk only to vent out your frustration. It’s like throwing your household waste out on roads, only to make your home clean. What about Swacch Bharat, India?
- Honking keeps me awake
A number of people justify their honking habit by saying that honking keeps them awake during midnight driving or after being late from office. Instead of trying to focus on driving, people take the driving process for granted.
In a rush to reach home, people don’t think about the damage to the peaceful and calm environment of night. What a really funny and irrational excuse to justify honking?
- Honking is my way of cursing mad drivers
Further, drivers were proud to accept their honking habit and said that it is their way of cursing someone for their driving etiquettes. With number of unorganized markets, poor knowledge of driving rules and irrational driving of cab drivers, underage bikers, etc., people resort to honking as a substitute of cussing on roads. They believe they will destroy the mental peace and make someone irritated to heights.
No matter how good the intention, honking is not the right way of punishing people for their stupidity. It’s the right example of the phrase that the pig wants you to play in the mud, you will get dirty and he will be happy. So, before going down to the level of stupidity, improve your habits and be rational.
Before indulging in a regressive honking habit due to some stupid reason, see what your habit costs to the country, here.
Cost of Unnecessary Honking on Indian Roads
A study has been conducted to estimate the amount of money we will save as a nation if we stopped unnecessary honking.S K Patel, governing council member of Lions Clubs International estimates that the amount saved per annum will be approximately INR 245 crores. He takes into account number of vehicles on roads, average number of times people honk and amount of electrical energy or diesel that is used to charge car batteries.
Effective Tips & Technologies to Reduce Honking on Indian Roads
Honking is termed as a necessary evil in India. The people who indulge in incessant honking talk lengths about the unacceptable attitudes of pedestrians and other vehicle owners to justify their honking habits. No-one is considerate about the menace of honking and how noise pollution is affecting normal lives in Indian cities.
According to this news source, almost 70% of noise pollution in an urban area is caused due to unnecessary honking. The World Health Organization has already categorized noise pollution as a health hazard that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
There are a number of effective tips, suggestions and technologies that must be adopted and implemented in multiple phases to curb the menace of honking. Some of the things that can significantly improve the urban landscape in terms of noise pollution include:
Blanket ban on honking for a week: To understand the impact of honking and make people considerate about this cause, traffic authorities should impose blanket ban on honking in different areas for a specific number of days. Instead of penalizing the offenders, the traffic police should lecture them on the menace of honking and make them feel guilty by sticking witty stickers like ‘I was a fool to honk unnecessarily’. This will help in creating a mindset against honking in a particular area that can be spread over to larger territories through similar techniques.
Implementing laws & regulations on permissible sound levels: Though there are a number of laws on permissible sound levels, there should be stricter implementation. Decibel levels must be clearly outlined and effective monitoring should be done with the help of technology. Vehicle manufacturers must join hands with the government to limit the sound level of horns in their vehicles.
Awareness drives & punitive measures: Massive awareness campaigns should be conducted in different cities. Social media should be effectively utilized for such campaigns. Also, the sale of pressure horns, air horns and after-market horns that exceed the prescribed sound levels should be completely sealed. People who are found trading such horns should be heavily penalized. Cars should be monitored from time to time and special NPUC (Noise Pollution Under Control) regulation policy should be implemented.
Tech-powered solutions: Technology can be effectively utilized to control the menace of honking. YHonk has taken the first step towards curbing honking by employing modern technology through a tech-powered horn control system. By developing a revolutionary sensor and mobile app, YHonk helps in limiting thedaily horn usage by a vehicle owner.
Honking should be curbed and a step should be taken in the right direction. By joining hands with initiatives such as YHonk, you can also show your support towards a honk-free and peaceful India. Know more about YHonk and why honking is a menace at www.yhonk.com.
School Students Take a Stand Against Honking in Patna
It is said that children are the future of our nation. When the future is considerate about a serious menace such as honking and noise pollution, the future seems bright.
There have been many instances of children taking the front seat in creating awareness about various types of pollution. One such incident is quoted below where students in Patna took part in a honking campaign and made people aware of the menace of honking. Read the news report published in Telegraph.
Let’s join hands to bring down
F/16 Shardul apartments, Opp Parekhs hospital, 132" Ring road, Nr Shyamal cross roads, Satellite, Ahmedabad 380015