Mangaluru: Guess what? These days horns on buses sound like car or auto-rickshaw horns-why I say that is -other day while I was riding my two-wheeler down Balmatta Road, a vehicle behind me was constantly honking in order to overtake me- the sound of the horn was such, I thought a car or auto-rickshaw driver was desperately in a hurry to go in front of me. But I was wrong- the vehicle behind me happened to be a city bus, which had probably replaced the original loud bus horn with the horn of a car or auto-rickshaw , ever since the cops have been cracking down on vehicles fitted with loud horns.
I am glad to bring to your notice that No Honk Please initiative is being continued by a group of bikers who call themselves as United Bikers, who have joined with the traffic police department to bring awareness on the use of loud horns. Shhhh! There are hopes that the crowded and noisy city of Mangaluru may be just a little bit quieter from now on. This new initiative has been launched to try and bring some element of peace into the city’s mad traffic.
The ‘I Won’t Honk Campaign’ is a citizens initiative that has police support for its ambitious aim: to get drivers to take a pledge that they will not honk unless it is absolutely necessary. Although this campaign will not be an easy task, since honking seems part of the Indian driver’s DNA. It would appear that many people believe vehicles in India will only go forward if the horn is tooted. Honking seems to be an essential part of the Indian driving experience. In traffic, on empty roads, while overtaking, and while being overtaken.
Honking is just an unnecessary nuisance on the roads – it doesn’t help people get to a place faster and it doesn’t help us be safer. I think if we all take this pledge it will be really good for the city and the peace of mind for people who commute in this city and spend long hours on this road. Honking doesn’t mean that you move faster. Honking just means and shows that you are indiscipline in driving. The city’s traffic police, whose eardrums no doubt have to face the loudest assault, are all for the new campaign. They say that ‘No Honking Campaign’ that have already been introduced have resulted in reduction of noise pollution. ACP Uday Nayak said he hope the initiative would help in reducing the noise pollution in the city to a very large extent.
Among pollution concerns of air, water, land, and noise, the noise pollution is the one that has the potential for the most damage to humans and wildlife. It is a hidden health hazard that impacts our physical, psychological and intellectual well-being. There is so much noise around, but unlike our eyes, we can’t shut our ears. The increasing number of vehicles has made Mangaluru one of the noisiest cities. Various studies show that the decibel level of traffic is increasing by the day, and has crossed the maximum permissible limit (on any road, it is 80 decibels); sometimes it’s even louder than a jet taking off . Damage to health begins at 75 db. Hearing damage begins at 90 db and can be permanent loss of Hearing with one exposure of 120 db or more. Motorists should avoid Honking at Clear Intersections; Straight Roads, Green Signals; Silent Zones (Schools, Colleges, Courts & Hospitals)
Noise pollution can result to Physical Effects: like hearing loss, digestive disorders, birth defects, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, fatigue, headaches, asthma, hypertension, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, altered immune system. From this week, onwards, once the schedule is finalised, United bikers along with the help of traffic police will be taking this initiative to Schools and Colleges, using guest talks and Powerpoint presentations to talk to students about Road Safety and Road Rage!
As a part of the month-long, No Honking campaign, the traffic police led by ACP Uday Nayak started off the drive to check and remove all loud horns installed in buses. They checked every bus passing through the state bank bus stand as well as the Terminus. The horns that were found beyond permissible norms were immediately removed and confiscated. Stickers of “No Honking” campaign was also put on the windshields of the buses. In the mean time a couple of members of the Bus Association, having got the news of the police drive came and tried to put pressure on the police to stop it, citing reason that ‘The Large Green Horns are authorised by RTO and are permitted for use’. The ACP however was not in mood to listen and the traffic police went about their work till around 12 noon. The campaign will go on in full swing during the whole month.