Honk More, Wait More: Mumbai Police innovates new way to punish reckless honkers


MUMBAI: Mumbai Traffic Police has come out with an innovate idea to punish the reckless honkers of the city who keep on blare the horns even when the traffic signal is red.

In order to reduce the cacophony in the country’s financial capital, Mumbai Traffic Police has installed decibel meters at certain select but heavy-traffic signals to deter habitual honkers through a campaign named ‘The Punishing Signal’.

The decibel meters have been installed and activated at major junctions or signals at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Terminus, Marine Drive, Pedder Road, Hindmata Cinema Dadar and Bandra.

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 Police shared a video of the experiment with a short introduction by a professional actor — in the garb of Mumbai’s lovable but oft loathed ‘Pandu Havaldars’ who once used to hide behind the signals and quickly pounce on speeding traffic violators.

In his ‘Mumbaiya’ style, he opens the video that has gone viral: “Welcome! To the Honking Capital of the world..! Here, people honk even when the signal is red! Its easy, noa! Maybe they think that by honking, they can make the signal turn green faster! They just don’t understand..”, followed by a massive cacophony at some of the signals.

The short video goes on to show how some uncontrollable honkers blared their horns, waited, again honked and then shut up — learning the hard way that honking is not the way out (of the traffic jam). 

“This is intended more for creating awareness instead of punishment. Presently it is being launched on an experimental basis to study the public response,” Mumbai Police spokesperson and Deputy Commissioner of Police Pranaya Ashok told IANS.

Thumping the Mumbai Traffic Police on their back for the initiative, renowned anti-noise pollution crusader Sumaira Abdul Ali said this is the first time in decades that they (the police) have got around to “enforcing” something which activists have been demanding for years.

“This is a global first as we have not heard of such a thing anywhere in the world and I wholeheartedly congratulate the Mumbai Traffic Police for doing something concrete to make the city roads less noisy and eventually noise-free,” Ms Ali told IANS.

With inputs from IANS