Mumbai takes up a Horn Vrat to curb Honking Menace
Non-governmental organization (NGO) Awaaz Foundation, along with the state’s transport department, Mumbai police and hundreds of Mumbaiites launched the ‘HornVrat’ campaign.
In an effort to curb incessant honking, anti-noise campaigners on Saturday gathered at the Gateway of India to launch an anti-honking drive. Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Awaaz Foundation, along with the state’s transport department, Mumbai police and hundreds of Mumbaiites launched the ‘HornVrat’ campaign and pledged for a quieter city.
Awaaz Foundation claims that the city honks a whopping 18 million times an hour. “According to data from the transport department, there are currently 3 million vehicles in the city. Based on the traffic snarls and consultations with the transport department, we found that a Mumbai driver honks at least six times an hour,” Sumaira Abdulali, convener of the Foundation said.
As a part of the campaign, the NGO has roped in thousands of auto-rickshaw drivers who are most exposed to high noise level as the vehicle is open from three sides.
To reduce the menace of honking, a moving installation of a rickshaw fitted with horns was unveiled at the event. From Monday, rickshaw drivers from across the city volunteered to use the installation to spread awareness.
Thambi Kurien from the Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union said: “Most of our members are suffering from hearing problems. We will spread this initiative to cinema halls and CNG stations too.” Manoj Saunik, principal secretary, state transport department, who runs the “No Honking” campaign, said, “We need similar initiatives in the city to control this menace.”
As reported by Hindustan Times
Chandigarh residents flaunt ‘no honking’ stickers on social media
Gurjusjit Singh has uploaded a picture of him on his Twitter handle, showing a sticker on the steering wheel of his car. The picture is captioned, “Proudly take this pledge that “I will not honk”. Hope our neighbouring states Punjab and Haryana follow suit.” Chandigarh senior superintendent of police (SSP, traffic) has also been tagged in the tweet.
Gurjusjit is among the myriad residents who have taken to their social media handles in response to SSP (traffic) Shashank Anand’s appeal to the residents to paste the “I will not honk” sticker on their steering wheels and upload their pictures to spread awareness among relatives and friends.
The SSP, who is behind the 45-day campaign “Make Chandigarh Honk Free”, had taken to Twitter on January 2, announcing his pledge for “no honking” and was the first one to take such a pledge. On January 24, the “I will not honk” stickers were made available free-of-cost at Children Traffic Park, Sector 23.
In the last five days, Chandigarh traffic police have distributed the stickers to over 1,000 motorists and the campaign has been receiving great response from residents. The traffic police aim to distribute 5,000 stickers during the campaign.
Chandigarh traffic police are replicating Kathmandu traffic police’s concept of honk-free roads. The Kathmandu police started imposing fines for honking in April 2017, and by December 2017, the police had managed to check honking.
Enforcement for modified vehicles also: Residents
Pledging not to honk, the residents also took to Twitter to ask the traffic police to come down heavily on modified vehicles as well as buses.
“School buses use horns of very high volume. They should also be advised not to use horns unnecessarily,” suggested Harinder Singh Marwaha to Chandigarh traffic police on his Twitter handle.
Plan after the campaign
After the 45-day campaign, the Chandigarh traffic police will begin challaning people for excessive and unnecessary blowing of vehicle horns. For proper enforcement, traffic police personnel have been equipped with body-fitted cameras that will record the violation, after which the offender will be booked under Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and will be fined ₹1,000. The entire process of challaning will be carried out in the presence of a traffic marshal. No challan will be issued in case traffic marshal is not present at the spot.
(The news coverage originally appeared in Hindustan Times)
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)
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