Monday, January 5, 2009

No Honk please

Most of us have been victims of noise pollution thats been on exponential increase in the last few years but there is very less thought we give to it. Rather, we hardly react. What is with noise, todays gen and their obsession with it?? It has gone so far that we need a Guru to come down and show us how much peace and happiness can be felt at heart if we can just remain quiet for sometime and listen to nature talk... I thought about this a lot during my visit to Dhyanalinga (Isha). The volunteers even asked the ladies to remove their anklets or other jing bang stuff they usually wear as accesories. All that you have to do is sit down, remain silent in the hall when you get to hear the sound of waterfall and some mild music. One way, I am glad someone came up with this. On the other hand it saddens me that we expect another person to show this to us.. Do we have to be " taught" all these?

I am a person very sensitive to sound. Unlike most music lovers, I have always listened to songs with optimal volume and the same applies when I watch TV. My mobile ringing volumes are mostly at the average level. I go with cotton in my ears to watch movies these days because of the "DTS effect" and needless to mention most tam movies villains and heroes keep screaming Aye! Aye! for no reason..

Though all the above can be countered in some way or the other and the entertainment part of it compensates for the trouble, something I just am not able to cope up with is the sound of honking..

While there are times when honking is absolutely necessary, I can say that about 90% of the times its not. As against need, It is done out of habit ( few drivers just cant take their hands of the horns), frustration,anger,fear, impatience, hurry or just to irritate someone and enjoy, eve teasing ( oh yes) and few for pleasure !?!? As I am sitting in my room writing this.. I can hear the honking outside in the road. I live in a residential area where traffic is comparitively less and so is the need for blowing horns to this extent.

As always, I was complaining about this one day while waiting near the signal,listening to the people honking incessantly ( come on.. there is a red signal and we cant move.. do you want us to break it? aaaaarggggggggggggghhhhhh) Thats when I got this what you can call an idea.. its kinda ridiculous but I felt so much peace to event think of how it will be if implemented.. Idea is a Manual honk... Provide all drivers with a whistle which they have to blow if they need to honk.. Wow.. will any driver honk unnecessarily therafter.. the effort that the task will take will stop them from doing it unnecessarily.. if they honk ( whistle) at the same rate they do currently.. their lungs will explode .. I think the traffic regulatory board ( or whatever it is called) should think about this..

It seems highly stupid and kiddish but the kinda irritation I have been thru and headache it has given has made me think in these terms.. I remember an ex boss of mine mention during his visit to India from US that he must have hardly used the horn twice in his life time. He was 54 that time.. Even if that seems too good to be true cant we minimise it to 2 times or when in need (whichever is higher) on a days drive??

As against the usual Horn Ok please sign I read that No honking day stickers were seen on vehicles on April 7, 2008 which is was observed as No honking day in Mumbai. It is Jan 1st this year in Delhi. But this is not about a day, isnt it? How many of us even know that unnecssary honking is an offence? I was surprised to read this "Blowing of horns unnecessarily, especially in silence zones, at signalised junctions/intersections, using multi-toned horns, pressure horns are illegal and punishable under section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, attracting a fine up to Rs 100,". Instead of the fine, the Whistle option should work out better. We learn our lessons the hard way.


Rohit Oonnikrishnan said...

Unnecessary honking is not only irritating but also causes a lot of accidents(ironic..since one of the purposes of honking is to avoid accidents !)...while driving it actually creates a bit of pressure on the driver of teh vehicle in front to maneuver his vehicle to teh right /left or any other direction ..which may not be suitable at that moment ...

Hey ..i did not know the motor vehicles act on unnecessary honking:)

Deepak said...

Ditto - I didn't know it was an offense either!
Point 5

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