“I may be a conservative when it comes to honking. But there are liberals who don't mind sitting on their horns till the time they have had their way. One way to end 'horney maniacs', no pun intended, is to penalize those who honk the most - that too in restricted zones. This can easily be managed and determined through technology. Rewarding those who honk the least might be another way to bring down the frequency of honking.”
Ankit Kumar Singh, a public vehicle user, however, feels that in India drivers are impulsive honkers and they can't help themselves. Talking emphatically about the topic, agreeing that it annoys him no end, he says, “It's in their genes. They grow up seeing people honk for no reason and thus this urge to honk becomes a part of their existence.”
Ashim Sunam, who travels to work each day for two hours and walks a lot during the journey, gets irritated due to the horns blaring from various sides. He says, “It is really irritating, as I am someone who normally prefers to walk on the footpath where cars and bikes are not allowed to ply.”
While from a pedestrian’s point of view, blaring of horns can be irritating, drivers feel that pedestrians on the other hand don’t understand the road rules and walk as and where they wish. Sudipta Sengupta, who drives a car, has a very different experience. “Honking does work at times because, at time pedestrians have looked back at me, if I am not pressing the buzzer and have asked, 'horn nai hai,' ” he says. But he does say that fining horn-happy drivers might not help as what is required is awareness and heightened civic sense among the people. Almost all the people I talked to said that do not think fine would work except for Divya Juyal, who feels, “Indians do not like to cough up money for these things and some level of restrain would happen if a fine is imposed.”
Imagine a crowded road, horns blaring from all the large and small vehicles on the road, despite the driver knowing that there is no place to move an inch and vehicles will move when they will move. People in cars normally roll their car windows up and shut out the noise but in all the chaos, it is the pillion riders who get the worst bargains.
Alekhya Bolla, who gets picked up by her husband each day after work, has to really suffer the after hour office rush. “It is irritating. While we are stuck in traffic, the one behind us knows that we are not able to move forward due to the traffic jam, but still they don't stop honking. And honking is like a viral disease, if one starts it the others also follow, without any reason,” says Bolla.
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