Honking menace reaches a high but cops turn a deaf ear | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The menace of honking rages unabated in the city but traffic cops appear to be turning a deaf ear to it.
Traffic police records show the number of cases booked for “using horn” at prohibited places reduced from 2,156 in 2019 to a mere 17 in 2020 and 20 in 2021 (till August). Similarly, cases registered for using shrill horn dipped from 16,332 in 2019 to 6,118 in 2020 and 2,466 in 2021 (till August). However, motorists complain there is no respite from honking in almost all junctions.
Home to more than 1 crore vehicles, Bengaluru is one of the most congested cities in the world. It also produces a considerable amount of sound pollution due to the honking by motorists. Health experts say long-term exposure to noise levels from 85db to 90db can lead to hearing loss, headache, insomnia and loss of concentration.
Recently, NGO Citizens for Citizens (C4C) and others conducted an awareness campaign at GPO Junction near Vidhana Soudha by holding placards from 9am to 11am.
Rajkumar Dugar, founder & convenor of C4C, said: “Most people read the messages and avoided honking. Our sound meter phone app showed a maximum level of 104db, at the same junction two days ago at the same time but it showed a maximum of 97db during the campaign,” he said. He said they have launched #Bengaluru100KmsNoHonkingChallenge for all drivers.
Asked about the decline in the number of cases, a police officer said: “The enforcement on sound pollution was reduced after Covid-19. Also, there are very few meters to measure noise level. Most violations are at traffic signals during peak hours so it is also difficult to catch such errant motorists at that time.”
Activists want government agencies to erect no-honking signboards, organise awareness programmes, display messages on digital signboards, make announcements at junctions through public address systems, procure more sound detectors and also book cases against violators to curb the menace using modified horns and silencers.
Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) officials said they had provided 120 soundlevel meters to traffic police. KSPCB had also proposed to make silent zones on Hosur Road, ITPL Road, Mysuru Road and Tumakuru Road, Brigade Road, Cunningham Road and Commercial Street as these stretches have the highest level of sound pollution. However, the proposal remains on paper.
Many private buses are also using pressure horns but the transport department officials rarely conduct raids. Meanwhile, the “No Honking Monday” campaign of Bengaluru traffic police has also lost its steam.
In January 2020, the Mumbai Police launched the “Honk more, wait more” initiative at some junctions where traffic signals are connected to a decibel measurement unit. If the decibel level goes above 85db, the traffic signal would restart and remain in the red light for some more time. In Mumbai, fitness certificates are not issued to the vehicles having shrill, multi-toned and loud horns from vehicles.
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Sagar Biswas

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