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Vehicles with noisy horns in Mumbai won’t get fitness certificates, says transport dept

Department to ban shrill, multi-toned, loud horns so as to curb noise pollution and prevent motorists from honking incessantly

mumbai Updated: Dec 06, 2017 15:03 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,RTO,transport department
Mumbai RTOs have identified 52 busy junctions in the city, where officials will be deployed to prevent motorists from honking and check noise levels. (HT File)

To curb noise pollution from incessant honking, the transport department has decided to ban shrill, multi-toned and loud horns from vehicles — old and new. Officials said fitness certificates will not be issued to vehicles violating the norm.

The regional transport offices (RTOs) of Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Department (MMVD) have initiated a month-long campaign – No honking (Horn Nako) to urge motorists to refrain from incessant honking.

At present, there are no rules on permissible sound levels for honking or vehicular noise at traffic junctions in India. Horns in Mumbai emanate noise as high as 110 decibels (dB) – equal to the noise levels at a rock concert.

Manoj Saunik, principal secretary, state transport and ports department, told HT that all vehicles will have to abide to the 87dB(A) noise limit with just 13dB(A) limit for horns over the engine noise of 74dB(A), as per existing rules under the Motor Vehicles Act.

“People are honking incessantly, and this needs to stop,” said Saunik. “While registering vehicles, we will check the noise level of the horns. If norms are violated, they will be removed. But if a vehicle owner insist on keeping a noisy horn, fitness certificates (for the vehicle) will not be issued, and he/she may be fined.”

Saunik added that in a situation where noise levels from horns do not breach existing rules, during registration, but are modified later, the vehicle owner will be tracked and appropriate action will be initiated.

“Fitting multi-toned and shrill horns has been disallowed under transport rule provisions. If any vehicle fitted with such unauthorised or illegally fitted horns are found during renewal of fitness certificates, such horns need to be removed and the vehicle should not be passed until legally acceptable horn is fitted. These instructions need to be strictly followed with immediate effect,” read the instruction issued by the department on Tuesday.

Saunik added the Mumbai RTO identified 52 busy traffic junctions in Mumbai where officers will be stationed to prevent motorists from honking and check noise levels.

“The process began on Monday. We want citizens to support this campaign, during which we will request them not to honk with the ultimate goal of having a quieter city. Once we receive citizens’ support, those violating the norm will be fined and it will serve as deterrence to others,” he said.

Non-governmental organisation Awaaz Foundation, which conducted several anti-honking campaigns in the city, met Saunik and other officials from the transport department on Tuesday. “It is good that the RTO and the government are taking initiative against honking and will support our campaign as well. While awareness is extremely important, and we have been pushing for a complete stop on honking, enforcement is equally important. If both these aspects do not go side-by-side, then such a campaign cannot be effective,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.

Horns, not OK, please

HT had reported in February this year that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) banned pressure, multi-toned and musical vehicle horns. In a notification to state pollution boards and the police in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Navi Mumbai and Thane, the CPCB said that drivers should not be allowed to honk needlessly, continuously or more than necessary, especially in silence zones.

Did you know?

13,883: Cases related to incessant honking and use of pressure, musical or reverse horns were filed by traffic police in 2016

Rs15.79 lakh: Amount collected in fines between January and December

(Source: Mumbai Traffic police)

First Published: Dec 06, 2017 15:02 IST