Asking the questions:
Your vehicle definitely has a horn switch within your immediate reach for a reason. But do you really know why it’s placed there?
Is it okay to honk away to glory whenever you are stuck in any kind of traffic even for 5 seconds? Is it okay to press the horn switch the moment you see any possible obstacle? Is it okay to honk before you make sure you are not in a silence zone? Do you have any idea what a ‘silence zone’ is?
Why should you care?
Do you like the sound of a diesel generator? Would you like to stay beside a diesel generator all through the day? Well, a diesel generator produces 85-90 decibel (dB) of sound when in action. Your bike horns can scream at upto 80 dB and your car has the capacity to emit upto 85 dB noise bombs whenever you press the switch.
I totally understand the Ministry of Environment in our country didn’t clearly define where to honk and where not to (apart from in the silence zone), but shouldn’t you apply common sense to make this city a little less noise-polluted? How much time will you loose if you take a turn in residential areas at a speed which won’t require you to honk?
Think a bit:
Your mother or father is hospitalized with a heart condition. How would you feel if you hear constant honking from the outside road in the ICU during your visiting hours? What kind of effect can a shocking sound of the horn have on a heart patient? Or, on a new born child? Or, for any patient for that matter?
What can we do?
To start with:
Click here to check out the legal rules and punishments regarding noise pollution and silence zones in India. Please understand that this noise pollution control laws are there for the betterment of your environment. You as a part of the society should logically dissect a law before cancelling it as an anti-freedom propaganda. Silence zones are not properly marked in our city, but we can keep an eye on the silence zones on our regular routes and make sure we don’t honk there, can’t we?
My fellow bikers:
Here is a link (click here) for you to download an app called Sound Meter. It’s free to use. Download it and check out how noisy you are with your hi-fi silencer upgrades or horn upgrades. If you are illegally noisy just to catch attention, you are really not creating a good impression of yourself, are you? A normal silencer produces 65 dB and the legal limit for your horn is 80 dB. Curb your desire to show off and please stay within legal limits.
My fellow drivers:
Kolkata is an old city with inadequate width on most of her roads. It is a fact and we can’t change that. Driving is a skill that takes a lot of your patience if you want to be really good at it. I can understand how frustrating it gets when you lose your valuable time because of some stupid drivers ahead of you. But what prolonged or constant honking exactly achieves apart from sending a message that you are frustrated? Does it really help you in gaining even a single second? Pay heed and do the math yourself, only then take the decisions. The horn is there to be pressed when you need it, not when you feel like it.
Our legal system has loads of loopholes and we never stop criticizing it in any friendly chat. But what are you doing to change it? Are you doing your part?