Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Honkers drive us bonkers

We have all manner of pollution these days affecting our senses. Noise pollution is one of them, silently bothering many people with stress and depression leading to many diseases.

Making noise disturbingly in public seems to be a ‘birthright’ in our country. We can notice many two and four-wheeler drivers simply honking horns usually for no sensible reason, in such a 'tone' (in Morse Code terms, using only frequent 'dashes' instead of a 'dot') as if demanding way from a big buffalo that is standing right in front. Oftentimes, they honk the horn without even analyzing the availability of space for the other fellow to make way for him. They press the button simply because they have the facility!

The horn is usually intimidating, loud and harsh which always annoy the one in front and not the one pressing the button. There are some countries where the horn is used most judiciously because sounding the horn is considered an insult. But then, in our country, people live among insults and have utter disregard to others on the road. Does this make any sense to them? Peaceful traffic is scarce. One wonders about the urgency everybody has these days! More than real urgency, it is their restless and want-to-be-ahead-of-others attitudes that prompt such unmindful honking [and rushing].

No sooner the signal turns amber, the restless honking begins behind us. They are not even patient for a couple of seconds more, when every body will automatically begin to move on amber changing to green. They honk as if everyone in front will make way for the ‘maharajas’ immediately! It is such a noisy scene.

If you just observe, many use the horn indiscriminately and mostly when they are not required at all. There will be ample free space, [lucky we have that on our roads here till now] but still they honk, even when an announcement of their presence is not needed. They honk even at zebra lines when people are crossing the road. Wonder they know what those lines are there for! Some two-wheelers are found fitted with truck horns! Some play ‘music’ with their horns by continuous honking when just a single, short honk is needed to ask way or announce their presence. Bullying others by such indecent honking is another bad practice that is noticed.
Have we seen any ‘no horn’ boards near hospitals here? Even if there are, they stand ridiculously with their ‘deaf ears’! And how many keep their horns silent in that zone? We have ‘interceptors’ on the prowl but then they catch only easy prey. Who can monitor and catch the offenders in heavily crowded traffic?

Since there is no punishment for these trivialities, I think, at best, the authorities should strictly instruct and educate all DL applicants about good driving ethics and discriminate use of the horn, which may greatly contribute in reducing the decibel level of noise pollution. Supposing, at least in a dream, they do it, it is highly doubted that the individuals wont follow them because they well know that there is no punishment for even the bigger offenses!

How I wish they made only those old rubber bulb horns valid in present times! Even buses and trucks had those, if old timers can remember.

1 comment:

GW said...

Here, at least in the suburbs where I live, it is not horns that disturb the peace, but car stereos. Teens, especially, drive what I've come to refer to as stereo systems cleverly disguised as cars. They boast amplifiers, huge speakers, and subwoofers which, litterally, cause the windows of our house to vibrate when these people drive by. Heaven forbid someone decides to park for a while and listen to "music" with thumping baselines. Ugh.

I would SO love a device I could point toward such cars and disable their electronics.