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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

High decibel horns, silencers fall silent as steep fines put off youngsters

The youth are now running scared of the hefty penalties that high decibel pressure horns and modified silencers attract after enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Act from September 1

chandigarh Updated: Sep 20, 2019 01:27 IST
Rajanbir Singh
Rajanbir Singh
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
According to the amended Motor Vehicles Act, any horn or modification to the silencer , which produces noise more than 80 decibels, is not allowed.
According to the amended Motor Vehicles Act, any horn or modification to the silencer , which produces noise more than 80 decibels, is not allowed.(HT PHOTO)
         

Horn not okay or macho anymore, please. Youngsters are now running scared of the hefty fines that high decibel pressure horns and modified silencers attract after enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Act from September 1. Which is why requests for such illegal modifications have stopped, say mechanics in various motor markets across the city.

According to section 190(2) of the amended MV Act, causing air and noise pollution can now attract a fine of up to ₹10,000 instead of ₹1,000 earlier according to the old Act (1988).

The traffic police have issued 24 challans for modified silencers and 10 for pressure and multi-tone horns from September 1 to September 15.

Any horn or modification to the silencer, which produces noise more than 80 decibels, is not allowed.

“Earlier we used to get many requests from youngsters for installing ‘pataka’ (sound of crackers) and modified silencers, but not anymore,” says Rajkumar Verma, who runs a two-wheeler modification shop in Sector 21.

Now the only modifications he’s likely to do is change seat covers. “The trend for over-the top-modifications has passed, the new fines are high enough to scare the youngsters,” he adds.

However, with many units in the motor markets refusing to make the modifications, some people are getting it done from the adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana, says Kamal Suri, president of the Sector 48 Motor Market.

In fact, there could have been a fall in sales of some popular “muscle” motorcycle brands because people cannot modify the silencers, says Shah Nawaz Ahmed, president of the Sector 43 Motor Market for two-wheelers. “Earlier college students would come to us to get modified silencers fitted, but after September 1 not a single customer has come,” he says.

INCREASED TRAFFIC POLICE VIGILANCE HAS HELPED

Increased traffic police vigilance has helped, says Sandeep Bhalla, organising secretary of the 21 Sector Resident Welfare Association (RWA). Their area was infamous for bikers with high decibel horns and silencers, but strict policing is working. “Nakas are routinely put up around the market and beat constables can also be spotted checking the market for illegal modifications.”

However, the problem had not entirely vanished, and the noisemakers can still be heard in the early hours of the morning. "Youngsters in Chandigarh are aware of the penalties, which need to be enforced strictly in the adjoining cities of Mohali and Panchkula," Bhalla added.   

Noise pollution is dangerous and can cause accidents, says Harpreet Singh, road safety activist. “Pressure horns and modified silencers can divert the attention of motorists, especially senior citizens. The automobile makers must be taken to task. Vehicles too must be made in such a way that modifications to factory fitted horns and silencers can’t be made.” 

First Published: Sep 20, 2019 01:27 IST

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