SI Vasanti Nails Bus Drivers Honking Shrill Horns
Mangaluru: Following in the footsteps of Sub Inspector Rosamma, who was a tough and strict lady cop at the helm of Mangaluru Traffic West then, here we have now yet another lady Sub-Inspector (Mangaluru Traffic West) Vasanti, who is on the lookout for motorists breaking traffic rules- and if caught you are out of luck, because she will never let you go without slapping a fine, no matter what excuses you come up with- and I was a witness to her tough ad strict character, when it came to dealing with arrogant, reckless and law-breaking motorists. SI Vasanti and his team of police constables were near the MCC building bus-stop, trying to crack down on bus drivers still using shrill horns- and believe it or not, within half-an-hour nearly forty-five bus drivers were fined Rs 100 for using shrill horns. One bus driver was fined for not wearing the uniform (see photo) by SI Vasanti, although he came up with a silly excuse.
One thing about our local bus drivers is that they still have no shame, even after they have been fined by the traffic cops for using loud horns many times earlier, but they still repeat the same offense. The increasing number of traffic violations has sent the cops on an overdrive as they penalized more than 200 drivers during the busy evening rush hours for honking and using loud horns-thereby raking in big bucks in fines. The traffic cops also slapped fines on conductors for not wearing uniforms, and also drivers for not stopping at the designated bus stops. The cops didn’t heed to any excuses put forth to them by the bus drivers or conductors, instead coolly punched in the license plate numbers on their Blackberry’s and issued them the Rs 100 violation ticket popped out from the hand device. SI Vasanti was assisted by police constables- Spoorthi, Gajendra, Srikanth, and Hanuma Reddy.
Traffic constables checked horn volumes of buses near MCC bus stop and bus drivers who were found exceeding the permissible sound levels were told to pay fine, and in exceptional cases, their horns were removed. Cops said that the larger objective of the drive is to check noise pollution. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, SI Vasanti said, “Lately we have been receiving complaints from the educational institutions, hospitals, religious places and citizens about loud honking by the bus drivers. Normally drivers don’t honk at intersections, especially when they see a traffic cop. As a result, we are forced to do surprise checks and stop vehicles, take them to the side of the road, test their horns and then take action. It is a laborious and time-consuming task and so is the new initiative we have launched against these shrill horns used by these buses. We will continue our drive until the bus owners/drivers remove these loud horns.”
Harsh and (sometimes) impractical it may be, but the only way out is to ban horns completely in busy urban areas. The sort of proposed policing is practically impossible. Who decides acceptable tones, loudness levels etc., and how to ensure our ingenious population doesn’t come up with workarounds? When a hundred people are honking away in maddening traffic, it doesn’t serve any purpose anyway as nobody can make out who’s honking at whom. If someone won’t move when he sees you in his SUV, fat chance he will when you honk at him. In today’s crackdown on loud horns, the cops did remove loud horns – some horns were fitted in a secret place, but the cops were able to trace them. Each bus found to be using horns with frequency above 75 decibels were fined. The police inspected the frequency of the horn sounds using a sound level meter.
While complimenting the traffic cops for a job well done, and urging them to do similar checks every other day, only then we can bring the noise pollution of this shrill down. Already each one is under terrible stress driving and riding and walking in Mangaluru roads. We hear frequent shrill or musical horns mostly from these private buses, and they also use it in silent zones and even midnight. Hearing those horns many have experienced severe heart beats due to sudden high decibel noise exposure. This already creates serious mental and physical disturbance on the human population. So shrill horns should be totally banned and severe fines and punishment must be given to drivers who use them. Mangaluru Traffic Police awake ….arise! Bring peace to Mangalureans.