Honking incessantly while stuck in traffic or at a red light will invite a Rs 500 fine from Monday. You will also be fined if the car horn is multi-tone, multi-musical or if you have fitted an air-horn in your vehicle.
The penalty will be applicable under section 134 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1989.
On Thursday, the Maharashtra transport commissioner’s office issued a circular to all RTOs to take action against vehicles displaying the ‘Horn OK Please’ message. Following this, the authorities have decided to take action against all the three offences listed under section 134, to curb the honking menace.
“Honking is like a brake which should be used only in an emergency or to alert the driver of the other vehicle before overtaking it or getting close to it. However, these days, people honk for every little reason, sometimes just to get the traffic cop’s attention when the traffic is moving slowly,” said an RTO official, requesting anonymity.
RTOs will also start booking offenders for displaying the Horn OK Please message.
“Motorists have to be more careful. The act is already in existence, but now, after the circular, we will enforce it stringently,” the official said.
With more than 25 lakh vehicles plying on Mumbai roads, honking is a serious civic menace and contributes largely to noise pollution.
“These days, honking is used as a substitute for poor driving skills and lack of traffic discipline on the road. The RTO should insist on less use of the horn while conducting driving tests. Similarly, motor training schools should educate people about the efficient use of horns and of zones they are prohibited in,” said Sumaira Abdulali, anti-noise activist.
Removal of illegal horns from vehicles will solve the problem to a great extent, claimed another anti-noise activist. “Authorised horns fitted by vehicle-manufacturing companies are within permissible sound limits, but illegal horns are very harsh and irritating. Therefore, the authorities should focus on removing them,” said Jagdeep Desai, another anti-noise expert.