Coming as a relief for commoners, Mumbai Police has initiated a campaign ‘The Punishing Signal’ targeted at habitual honkers. Attempting to curb noise pollution, it has installed decibel meters at certain heavy-traffic signals to deter habitual honkers. ‘Honk more wait more’ and ‘Feel free to honk if you don’t mind waiting’ are the taglines of Mumbai Police’s campaign.
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) January 31, 2020
Announcing the initiative, Joint Police Commissioner (Traffic) Madhukar Pandey said that the decibel monitors are connected to traffic signals around the island city, and when the cacophony due to needless honking exceeds the dangerous 85-decibels level, the signal timer resets, entailing double waiting time for all vehicles. “Mumbai is one of the noisiest cities in the world and lot of this noise is at the traffic signals where Mumbaikars honk even when they see the signal is red. Jointly with the FCB Interface, we have launched this innovative solution to arrest the honking menace,” JCP added.
Even though the idea is quite usual globally, India was lagging in tackling noise pollution. As the Mumbai Police initiated it, it received appreciation from several quarters. Telangana minister K T Rama Rao expressed his willingness replicate the idea in Hyderabad to deal with the honking menace. “Let’s get this done in our Hyderabad too. Need of the hour,” the minister asked top officials via a tweet. Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao too announced his eagerness to promote this in Bengaluru, “Very good idea of fixing decibel meters, will try.”
— KTR (@KTRTRS) January 31, 2020
Very good idea of fixing decibel meters, will try
— Bhaskar Rao IPS (@deepolice12) January 31, 2020
According to several reports and surveys, noise pollution has reached a depressing level in some cities of the country including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. However, there is no respite even in the sub-metro and small cities. People are using innovative, fashionable and loudest- possible horns, even some with tuning of songs. Surprisingly, some even honk loud horns even on an empty road only to satisfy their urge to honk.
There is a need of sensitisation among the younger generation regarding the noise pollution. According to the World Health Organization, sound levels less than 70 dB are not damaging to living organisms, regardless of how long or consistent the exposure is. Exposure for more than 8 hours to constant noise beyond 85 dB may be hazardous. If you work for 8 hours daily in close proximity to a busy road or highway, you are very likely exposed to traffic noise pollution around 85dB. Noise pollution can cause several diseases including hypertension, hearing loss, sleep disturbances and even dementia. It also causes lasting impact on child development and on pregnant women.
Citing the positive response on social media to this initiative, we can be assured that the people are willing to make a change for the good. Government must bring a detailed policy on noise pollution to deal to its impact on the populace while the denizens must shun activities which leads to noise pollution.