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Ban honking - proposal

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Dear Honorable Authorities in power who can do something, You all are also victims of all these problems facing us 24/7. and you have the powers to make a difference.

Please DO.
Enclosed a request to Ban honking in Bangalore, submitted to prior authorities 3 years ago. without any perceptible results so far.

1) Honking: The problem has become extremely  acute because between then and now almost EIGHT LAKHS (800 per day x 1000 days) have been added in to the unchanged 4,500 kms roads of Bengaluru. These have added almost 1.5 MILLION TONS of pollutants (1500 tons/day) into the air around Bangalore.

Every honk disturbs 8000 individuals at the present rate of population density in Bangalore. Honking has been known to encourage reckless driving rather than being an index of careful driving. No accident has so far occurred due to proven failure to honk. Infact all accidents honking does happen but accidents still occur probably due to recklessness arising out of overconfidence in honking.

The loss of hearing due to high decibel noise is IRREVERSIBLE. It has been grossly magnified by the loud musical/pneumatic/air/4 wheeler like horns on 2 wheelers. All these banned horns should be spot destroyed. ORDERS should be issued to this effect immediately.

The supreme court has already mandated 45-65 db noise levels.

Any honking is in violation of the law. It is grossly fallacious to claim that honking prevents / averts accidents. Everyone does not have to be made a victim 24/7 for the sake of 3 accidents per day which can be averted by slower and safer driving anyway?

Honking can be  easily banned  under the authority of the supreme court mandate by just an order from the DGP/Commissioner.if nightlife affecting hardly 5 or 10 percent of population can be rigorously controlled under the police act orders/rules, why not provide relief to Millions of citizens 24/7? It just needs an initiative from the right authority.
if someone honks only to avoid an accident they need not be penalized instead of letting millions of people suffer noise pollution and consequent hearing loss mood changes , hypertension, irritability and a host of cascading health problems arising of noise pollution.


idontspam's picture

Enclosed a request to Ban

145 users have liked.

Enclosed a request to Ban honking in Bangalore, submitted to prior authorities 3 years ago. without any perceptible results so far.

Do you realize how juvenile a suggestion this is? Honking misuse is not solved by a GO, it is solved by altering social behaviour on the roads. I can see from your profile you are a part of Mr MN Sreehari's organization. I shouldnt expect better.

Any honking is in violation of the law.

Which law? Then manufacturers must be sued for abetment to this crime, why arent you campaigning against manufacturers fitting horn on their vehicles.

silkboard's picture

Very Impractical wish

160 users have liked.

Rules and laws are not answers for everything. There is no point asking for rules that can't be enforced.

By the way, I have noticed that levels of honking have gone down in Bangalore over the years. Most honking comes from cabs (at signals, just when light goes green), and aggressive two wheelers who fear getting ignored by bigger vehicles.

Two things that can reduce honking "needs"

  • Enforcing lane driving, thus more prdictable behavior
  • enforcing pedestrain signals, and better pavements so that people don't come in the way of vehicles.
Naveen's picture

Honking - Road manners need improvement

155 users have liked.

I don't think banning horns or banning honking entirely is the answer for reduction of street noise levels. Horns are necessary for vehicles during emergencies, or in circumstances where other vehicles or road users, such as pedestrians need to be alerted.

It's just that driving & pedestrian habits in India are extremely poor & most of us use horns as if it were the norm, rather than the exception. I agree with IDS - what we need is a complete overhaul of driving habits & campaigns for improvement of road manners.

murali772's picture

what a honk needs to convey

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A honk should be to convey "caution, you may be in my way", or "please allow me to pass" as compared to "get out of my way" that the call centre vehicle drivers seem to want to convey - check this

Muralidhar Rao
E.R. Ramachandran's picture

We are like this only!

149 users have liked.

I would recommend following steps which we tried in Mysore, beacuse the Police Commissioner, 4/5 years backe refused to think honking was a problem at all!

1.Measure the soundlevel at Residential places using sound level meters at 3 to 4 locations morning, afternoon and peak hour traffic in the evening for a week. You will be surprised at the variations. In the evenings it used to be 100 to 120 db - equivalent of drilling.

AIISH helped us to do the scientific monitoring near Ramakrishna Ashrama, Railway Hospital, Venkataramana swamy temple in Vontikoppal.

2. Armed with data, we prepared a memorandum seeking  'banning of honking by 'no honking' boards and fining the culprits.

3. Swamiji Atmavidananadji of Ramakrishna Ashrama, Rly hospital director, vikram hospitals, Trustee of Venkataramana swami temple were some of the important members who  signed.

4.  We submitted the Memorandum  to  then C.M.,S.M. Krishna and the Governor who had come for golden jubilee of Ramakrishna school thro' Swamiji.

5.  The 'No Horn' boards were put in 3 to 4 places within a week.

Final story: Despite Boards, Warnings to KSRTCdrivers and fines to private cars, buses, HORNING CONTINUES UNABATEDLY.

There is a saying in Kannada: 'Naavu irode heege swami'! ( 'We are like this only!)


mbnataraj's picture

what is your point IDS? 3000 plus praja points?

142 users have liked.

guide line 1) Kindly mind your language. 

 Supreme court has mandated 45-65db levels. And it should not exceed at any point 90 db. Anyway peace and quiet should be included in the statutory rights. Driving is a privilege tolerated by the society at its expense. Honking is a gross violation of that privilege,  juvenile and uncivil behaviour in almost all parts of the world.

I guess when you donot even know your rights I cannot expect anything other than the kind of language you use. Juvenile is the approach one needs to follow when peoples behaviour on the road is juvenile. Please stop honking if you do when you are driving and you will see that your cautious  driving will improve and you will not hold other innocents to ransom.

guideline 2) Kindly do not make personal references to Prof Sreehari or any one else who is not involved in this exchange. Thank you for your patience. If you have something personal with Test or Prof Sreehari kindly take it up with them. Atleast I can see we are doing what we can and have the courage to do so, juvenile or otherwise even if it doesnot meet your expectations. We are not trying anyway.

idontspam's picture

 Kindly do not make personal

133 users have liked.

 Kindly do not make personal references

Unconditional apologies if this caused mental anguish on you side. I admit I stepped over the line. 

I personally do not believe Mr Sreehari is right in a lot of things on traffic. I dont see how people who are associated with him can have a view that can be very different. But this is a personal opinion & I will take it up with him if/when I meet him.

Honking is a gross violation of that privilege, 

Privilege is not Law, looks like you cant back up your statement that honking is against law. 

Atleast I can see we are doing what we can and have the courage to do so, juvenile or otherwise even if it doesnot meet your expectations. 

I was trying to point out you have wasted time in juvenile pursuits. You have the right to continue on that path. And I will continue to maintain it is juvenile. If you find like minded people here please do go ahead as you have the right to. My opinion is just like many others on this site, just an opinion. If you are unwilling to make sense out of it or see the approach that might be better to take, its yours to gain or lose.

idontspam's picture

Then what is not juvenile approach?

163 users have liked.

 Final story: Despite Boards, Warnings to KSRTCdrivers and fines to private cars, buses, HORNING CONTINUES UNABATEDLY.

Very good point. Can I draw the conclusion that banning honking had not resulted in the desired outcome or is there a different conclusion?

There are 2 issues here. The decibel level of each horn & then the event of honking

The decibel level of each horn can & should be enforced at the manufatrucing level and then on the roads. 2 level enforcement.

The event of honking is harder to do by enforcement it should be a part of driver behaviour & training and in parallel organized driving behavior which doesnt need so much horn communication must be practiced. These are systemic changes.

Example I hired a driver who was honking every 5 minutes on an empty NICE highway with not even an insect blocking his way let alone vehicles. Why? Force of habit due to bad practices? What is the role the driving institutes are playing in this behavior? Who is training & certifying the trainer? The student will be as bad or as good as the teacher. SO where do you spend your efforts? At the symptom taking paracetamol or at the root preventing a viral attack?

mbnataraj's picture

"Thank you " for the tongue in cheek apology

144 users have liked.

I DONT SPAM and yet you do!, 

"Thank you" for the "juvenile" opinion  for whatever it is worth.

Horns, guns, vehicles are dangerous in reckless hands, judiciously used they are useful.

you dont stop manufacture.

You enforce responsibility in the user if he is unmindful of the privilege offered.

Awareness of Privilege is a matter of  civil sense.
God forbid the day if Privilege also has to be brought under the Law.

I am trying to create exactly the awareness that you say will bring in compliance, fully being aware that

 strict enforcement is the path.

The  supreme court  order was in WP# 20050718.  

I donot have to prove myself  to praja site or you about the efficacy or absence thereof regarding my "juvenile" approach.

I have started  petitions since 2006, given lectures at multinationals on my own and on behalf of TEST and professional organizations on this matter.

At that time I was requesting the authorities to bring in legislation, not being aware that the requisite orders already available to the

authorities if they chose to implement them. Now I am demanding from the administration since there is no political will.

That is still 5 db level below automobile noise.

But if the USE CYCLE movement survives I dream of that heavenly day when we dont have to breathe 1500 tonnes of petroleum pollutants/day  from consuming 6000 tonnes of petroleum products, in Bangalore.

I am only trying to create the awareness that honking  is a  unnecessarily evil, selfish act best avoided by slowing down or even stopping.

More  often it is   an index of reckless driving. You can make out by the pattern of the honk if you listen.

It does not prevent accidents.  It is  considered uncivil , boorish, behaviour in most parts of the world. 

It is avoidable  damage to health and well being of 8000 people with in range of the noise but are not directly responsible for the honk.

Too high a price to pay  for the recklessness of two- the honker and the honkee(the one who caused the honk for whatever reason).

I donot know about you but I am not willing to pay that price.

 I will act to the fullest  extent my  courage lasts.

 For whatever it is worth, 8 december was declared as a honkless day a couple of years ago, last month 10th of every month was declared honkless day and in India it is  huge progress.

Supreme court of India says in  its order  in WP # 20050718(links below)

 "The real issue is with the implementation of the laws.

The reason behind this is that many people in India did not consider noise as a sort of pollution and they are not very much conscious about the evil consequences of noise pollution. ----------

wherein the right to live in an atmosphere free from noise pollution has been upheld as the one guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution...........

Those who make noise often take shelter behind Article 19(1)A pleading freedom of speech and right to expression.Undoubtedly, the freedom of speech and right to expression are fundamental rights but the rights are not absolute.Nobody can claim a fundamental right to create noise by amplifying the sound of his speech with the help of loudspeakers.While one has a right to speech, others have a right to listen or decline to listen.Nobody can be compelled to listen and nobody can claim that he has a right to make his voice trespass into the ears or mind of others.Nobody can indulge into aural aggression.If anyone increases his volume of speech and that too with the assistance of artificial devices so as to compulsorily expose unwilling persons to hear a noise raised to unpleasant or obnoxious levels then the person speaking is violating the right of others to a peaceful, comfortable and pollution-free life guaranteed by Article 21.-----------------

No horn should be allowed to be used at night (between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.) in residential area except in exceptional circumstances.-------------"


Ambient noise standards were notified in 1989,  for urban residential and commercial areas. Limiting it to a daytime maximum of 85 db.,


nl.srinivas's picture

Going off in a tangent

165 users have liked.

Mr Nataraj,

  I think you are going off in a tangent. Guns and vehicles need licenses to be used. You don't require any license to use the horn you chose to use. Though there is a law against the decibel level of the horn (and the exhaust) you know how well it is enforced. Why would anyone require such a loud horn? Banning the manufacturing of loud horns is definitely a possiblility. Like it is done with high decibel crackers. They are illeagal. If it can be done with crackers, it can be done with horns too.

One of the primary reasons I prefer to travel in volvo buses is not the ac. It is the closed enclosure which cuts off the annoying noise which really fatigues me.

All said and done our civic sense has to improve so that our travel/ride becomes less stressful.

mbnataraj's picture

Specific Reason for referring to guns and vehicles

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I referred to the guns, vehicles (and by implication horns fitted on the vehicles legally or illegally) are to be used by license from the society. It is not a right. Most of the time society pays a very high price, for tolerating this license. So the licensee should show a responsibility in using it without  trespassing  the generosity of the society is what I meant.

As far as crackers  or horns are concerned, government does not have the will to go after them.

That is why almost all divalis they give public notices addressed to the users. I think its  fair enough if the goernment penalizes the users.

No doubt manufacturers do it for a profit motive.

. Why do users use it? Very loud crackers or horns or guns?

There is no reason to use a horn at all. Reducing speed will do fine. Average speed in Bangalore is anyway not more than 15km /hrin most places. It takes about 1 hour to travel a distance of 15 kms. Loud decibel horns are already banned. The government cannot track each and every underground manufacturer of musical horns. They have to be caught at the user level. I question the sanity and  gross lack of self esteemof the users who fit their vehicles with the very high decibel horns, damaging thousands of ears every time they take the vehicle out.

mbnataraj's picture

May be we can do something-what we can?

151 users have liked.

Since it appears that most of us are adversely affected by honking and would like to see the menace come down,  may be we can do what is possible within our means?

Cellphone driving banned already. But we have found "loop"holes already by using handsfree-banned too- or wired earphones.

Cellphone driving is known to impair driving to the same extent as DUI or DWI-driving under the inflence_of alcohol/drugs- or driving while intoxicated according to University of Utah findings.

May be we can note down the offending vehicles location, date time, type of vehicle registration number and provide it as a complaint to the DCP traffic?

Preferably with a video/audio evidence so their hands are strengthened. comment guidelines

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