With a view to tackle the menace of gratuitous honking, Purpose has initiated a “No Honking” campaign in collaboration with the Delhi Traffic Police and Earth Saviors Foundation, a global NGO focused on environmental protection., The campaign has already been launched, signaling stricter implementation of rules, including penalties on violators. In the capital, which is already abuzz with posters and banners asking drivers to cooperate, or face a police crackdown.
This Purpose initiative will also push the No Honking message out on Delhi Traffic Police social media channels and ask citizens to join in.
“Besides creating unnecessary noise pollution on the roads, it also leads to problems like stress, high blood pressure, and hypertension ,” said Ravi Kalra, founder President of The Earth Saviors Foundation. Launched in early November the campaign will continue to flag the attention of drivers to the perils of honking with the aim of breaking the honking habit. As part of the initiative, the Delhi Traffic Police has warned they intend to prosecute those who do not adhere to the “No Honking” rule.
“Citizens are aware of the law, but some of them don’t follow it. Honking is avoidable, but it requires everyone to change their behavior. If each driver pledges to only honk during an emergency and not when they are impatient, our city can significantly lower noise pollution” said DCP Traffic Eish Singhal.
Solutions to the epidemic of honking are many. These include enforcement through penalty, behavior change campaigns and more stringent tests for driving licenses. Many Chinese cities have also adopted technology such as the Acoustic Camera which identifies honking through infrared sound waves and is able to take images of cars that are producing a lot of noise. Through this technology the Chinese government is able to identify and penalize drivers efficiently.
The Delhi Traffic Police have successfully enforced seat-belt and helmet laws by penalizing drivers and passengers alongside large scale information drives in the city. All of these actions are needed to address these high-risk driving behaviors. Enforcing Silent Zones around hospitals and schools can be an opportunity for Delhi Traffic Police to catalyze a greater perception change to shift honking from being a normal driving behavior.
“Honking results in hearing loss, irritability, restlessness and high blood pressure. First victim is honker himself. This is the major cause of road rage in the capital” said Dr. Chanchal Pal Senior ENT Consultant and HOD, Dept of ENT, Moolchand Hospital.