Ban the unnecessary horn honking

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We all are aware how irritating horn honking is. Unlike air, land and water pollution, sound pollution is invisible , but it has its own ill-effects. According to World Health Organization (WHO), long-term exposure to noise levels from 85db to 90db can lead to hearing loss. Continuous exposure to high decibel sound causes hyper tension. Listening to sounds with high decibel levels can cause health hazards including partial or complete deafness, depending on age and exposure. Studies have found that traffic police officers who are continuously exposed to this noise can suffer from partial or complete hearing loss. Various other reports also suggest that traffic noise can lead to increased stress levels, impact sleep quality, increase blood pressure and lead to poor quality of life. This is not a good situation, instead an alarming one.

Unnecessary horn honking is now a habit of Indians possessing vehicles. The honking culture has also probably created a society that raises its decibel levels and fists even for small things on the road. Road rage and its subsequent violent actions could be a consequence of traffic-induced stress and the culture of “me first” on the roads. It is really tough to travel by an auto rickshaw, two wheeler or walk in a traffic zone. We only suffer and think nothing can be done for it.

Despite attempts by many organisations to create awareness about this bad habit and to sensitise people about the harmful effects of traffic noise, hardly any change in attitude can be seen.

Stringent measures such as limiting the permitted decibel level for horns of different vehicle types, banning the multi-toned horns, power, pressure or musical horns giving a sharp, shrill and alarming noise from vehicles and imposing fine for those who uses it and honk unnecessarily will eliminate this issue to a greater extent. Strict rules for unnecessary usage of horns, will create a sense of discipline among citizens and reduce the misuse.

The state should begin a campaign where vehicles fitted with such horns are not allowed to ply on city roads and those who uses are imposed with fine.

Earlier, Central pollution control board has taken this action for few cities. Same action has to be taken for every city in India and there should be an online portal to get and provide updates on the scenario to and by the citizen of India.