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Old 20th June 2011, 17:07   #31
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

In Indian context, the horn is a stress-reliever and helps one to vent out the anger/anguish/frustration that he/she feels when seemingly logical things don't happen.

In my opinion, besides the horn (which assaults your hearing) and the HIDs/projectors (which assaults your vision), the car manufacturers should start providing a external arm which can deliver a knock-out punch to a offending pedestrian. How about a spiked rub-strip?

I am sorry, I am being nasty. But driving on indian roads is really
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Old 20th June 2011, 17:25   #32
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

I think OEM horns in most vehicles do not serve the purpose they were put there for - hence the demand for aftermarket loud ones.

I use horns (and a light flash) on the highway when I am about to overtake someone. Why? I don't know if the driver in front is watching his RVM and is aware a vehicle is about to overtake. I certainly do not want him to move into my lane when I am abreast of him.

IMO a lot of drivers might be relying on vehicle behind to give an indication of it's presence and intentions rather than being situationally aware.
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Old 20th June 2011, 17:38   #33
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

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Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
I think OEM horns in most vehicles do not serve the purpose they were put there for - hence the demand for aftermarket loud ones.
What you mentioned here is, in fact, the truth. Reminds me of then DaimlerChrysler's experience of the Indian automotive market. The Mercedes-Benz cars in the late '90s came with horns used globally. However, they soon found out that the first 'mod' new owners of Mercs did was to replace the OEM horn with local aftermarket ones (louder, shriller). A couple of years later Mercs started using locally sourced horns.
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Old 20th June 2011, 19:18   #34
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmxylorider
I think OEM horns in most vehicles do not serve the purpose they were put there for - hence the demand for aftermarket loud ones.

I use horns (and a light flash) on the highway when I am about to overtake someone. Why? I don't know if the driver in front is watching his RVM and is aware a vehicle is about to overtake. I certainly do not want him to move into my lane when I am abreast of him.

IMO a lot of drivers might be relying on vehicle behind to give an indication of it's presence and intentions rather than being situationally aware.
A lot of truck drivers are atrocious. I drove from Pune to Mysore this February. A lot of truck drivers moved to the right lane (overtaking lane) after I signaled them!

City driving tells us that a majority car drivers are no better than such truck drivers. Go once on Eastern Express Highway, you will see cars occupying right lane driving at 40 km/h and not budge at anything.
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Old 20th June 2011, 21:57   #35
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

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The premise of the orignal post is pretty far-out, if you'll forgive me. Horns are anything but irrelevant to a safe driver. You ignore a horn at your peril. I can't think of anything stupdier to do that ignore another driver honking at you just because some of us admittedly over-use them!

I hardly use my horn at all while driving, much to the annoyance of my co-passengers. But yes- there are times when I need to use the horn and I certainly don't hesitate then.

Honking at people crossing, a vehicle waiting in front of you (not illegally I mean) etc. is just silly and I think all of us at least on the forums are smart enough to realise that. And hoking at poor dumb animals just ends up scaring them- the last thing I want to incite on a city road or highway is a buffalo stampede!
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Originally Posted by kphilip;2398682[B
]Horns may be irrevelant in some of the developed countries of the world. But in india it is quiet a different story[/b]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
I think OEM horns in most vehicles do not serve the purpose they were put there for - hence the demand for aftermarket loud ones.

I use horns (and a light flash) on the highway when I am about to overtake someone. Why? I don't know if the driver in front is watching his RVM and is aware a vehicle is about to overtake. I certainly do not want him to move into my lane when I am abreast of him.

IMO a lot of drivers might be relying on vehicle behind to give an indication of it's presence and intentions rather than being situationally aware
.
IMO some VERY good points have been made above.

In the Indian context, I see using a horn as safe driving practice (of course that doesn't mean sitting on the horn for no reason).

Rather than (overtly or otherwise) compare ourselves to the 'West', let us see how things work here in India. (and might I add it changes from region to region within India too; even changes from one part of Delhi to another - compare West Delhi to say Central-South Delhi).

Think of how licenses are issued in India.
Look around to see how our so called footpaths are used - extensions of shops or even whole markets existing on them.
See the kind of traffic we have - from all kinds of cars to cyclists, bullock carts, sugarcane carriers, pedestrians, cattle, stray animals et all share the same 1-3 lanes.
We also face wrong lane driving even on highways. Even on the Golden Quadrilateral like highways which are built close to international standards in many stretches, have a lot of such maniacs.
People cross roads from anywhere and everywhere.
The road my have stones, potholes or even be dug up without any notice and may need sudden movements by the driver, which usually would need an alarm. Also for the other drivers around to alert others of their whereabouts.

We drive on roads with a lot of uncertainties and using horns is anything but irrelevant. I very much consider it a part of safe driving.

At any of the colony crossings where you can't see a vehicle coming from the right or left, it may be prudent to give a short beep. Also in blind turns in the hills. Also in cases like mentioned by mmxylorider above.

Let us not get into the mentality of aping the west and go by what works for them. Let us keep in touch with our reality and use horns accordingly.

This of course is not to justify some totally unnecessary usage of horns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sa_kiran View Post
A lot of truck drivers are atrocious. I drove from Pune to Mysore this February. A lot of truck drivers moved to the right lane (overtaking lane) after I signaled them!

City driving tells us that a majority car drivers are no better than such truck drivers. Go once on Eastern Express Highway, you will see cars occupying right lane driving at 40 km/h and not budge at anything.
My experience with truck drivers has been very different. In the first few years of driving, I used to curse them often, but later realized how they operate. If one gives some thought of how to drive such big vehicles with the momentum they have, on the roads with uncertainties that exist on our roads, it they work quite predictably. They usually like to maintain their lanes and change only when really needed.

Up north, they may often expect you to overtake from the left so that they don't have to keep changing lanes for each vehicle that wants to overtake them. Over time this practice is also followed by some drivers who want to keep their driving 'simple' - I move in the right most lane at my speed, let the rest of the world figure out how they want to drive. Is oftener done by older drivers. By no means am I suggesting that it is a good practice, but since it is quite predictable, it not as bad as many others.

I seem to be getting off topic here and be getting into highway driving so will stop now.

PS: Bright headlights which impair one's vision for a few seconds are a much bigger issue than horns IMO.

Last edited by Poitive : 20th June 2011 at 21:59.
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Old 21st June 2011, 13:04   #36
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

Quote:
  • Immunity to horns: Frankly I am guessing with the growing number of cars blowing horns, frankly no one cares any longer about anyone blowing horns behind one's vehicle. In other countries, horns are a medium to say someone is not happy with driving, but in India horns are used uselessly. This makes one rather immune to any horns.
The horns are truely misused in Indian roads, unlike the other developed countries. Over here I feel people use the horn for different options rather than telling "I am NOT happy". People over here uses verbal languages, hand signs or road rages to say "I am NOT happy". No doubt that's disturbing.

Quote:
In fact even "No Horn" areas end up being noisy. To be frank I rarely hear the horns myself sometimes, when someone is horning behind me.
Nowadays this is becoming more visible (might be because more cars on the road! The administrators (to be be honest trafic police) need to start imposing heavy fines which pinch one's pocket. That's too not only for honking but other rule breaking issues as well.
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Old 4th September 2011, 08:51   #37
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Default Honk levels in India

Dear All:

Let me tell you a short story that happened yesterday. (It actually happens every minute of the day that 'you' are the one walking and the 'other' person is driving).

So..
As luck would have it, I was the one walking and a Honda City crawls up to me and the driver decides to blow my brains out with a screeching horn that sent shivers up my spine. The natural 'Indian' instinct would be to just move out of the way - but being the peace-loving guy (actually more to do with the fact that I was outside the country for a good number of years and feel and hope that we Indians could do with less noise levels on the roads) that I am, I turned around and gave him a 'lip-reading' of what I felt.


It is not my first harsh honk experience and I've been meaning to put this post across here for all to share and speak up. But over the last few months on my return to India I've been wondering what sort of rules and regulations govern the industry (after-market included). Rest assured, with the sort of noise levels that rule the roads we would soon be partially-deaf (I'd have preferred selectively-deaf - but lets keep that for another time). Given that the car industry has really exploded in the last decade or so, it is only a matter of time before we all become completely deaf!

Also, the impatience levels of roadsters (drivers, educated buggers like us, and the MUV guys - not the mention the big daddy of it all - the bus drivers) has exponentially increased to levels where it is simply impossible to press a brake (for whatever necessary reasons - a cow ahead, a rickshaw parked, a 2-wheelers cutting you etc) and not hear a honk behind you. That's less than a second of delay mind you!!

I just visited Mumbai for the Ganpati festival and coming from Pune, Mumbai felt like Europe! Minimal honking, driver maturity, wide roads, acceptance of the fact that lanes are for driving within and not on them - beautiful. Back to Pune and I all I hear are deafening honks!

What I am saying is there are many incidents that are indirectly adding to the noise levels!! So, after digressing a lot --

Here are my queries:
1. What sort of db horn spec limits can a OEM provide a car with?
2. Is there any regulation on the after-market horn db levels? Should the police get involved with it all - maybe with a db meter? Even if they start getting bribed, it could eventually bring down the honk levels, if not the frequency - similar to how the seat belt gained acceptance!
3. How to educate drivers that honking is not such a good/great/saintly thing after all?

4. How does too much honking help with some honing doesn't? (Ok that was just sarcasm at work!)

Maybe GTO and some of the other influential guys on TBHP can start a 'No Honk day' - start with only the Sundays every week and then spread it out to the whole weekend and maybe take it up from there!! Believe me, it is HARD not to honk when some stupid bugger decides to stop right in the middle of the road to spit out his red junk!

Will await your ideas / experiences / thoughts / suggestions etc.

Thank you for your time.

Regards,
Cingsman
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Old 4th September 2011, 10:18   #38
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

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Originally Posted by cingsman View Post
Dear All:
As luck would have it, I was the one walking and a Honda City crawls up to me and the driver decides to blow my brains out with a screeching horn that sent shivers up my spine. The natural 'Indian' instinct would be to just move out of the way - but being the peace-loving guy (actually more to do with the fact that I was outside the country for a good number of years and feel and hope that we Indians could do with less noise levels on the roads) that I am, I turned around and gave him a 'lip-reading' of what I felt.
Don't want to be a detective over here, but by any chance you were walking on the road?
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Old 4th September 2011, 10:31   #39
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

Yes honking is one of the things that people "returning to India" need to adjust to, and accept as a fact of life in India. Not every city here has roads with wide lanes and drivers educated about lane driving.

So, my suggestion to the OP is to accept it and move on, unlike the slow moving auto in the rightmost lane who wont listen to anything but a loud honk from behind.

Honking is just an effect that we see, which can't be fixed unless the causes are removed.
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Old 4th September 2011, 10:40   #40
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

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Originally Posted by cingsman View Post
I turned around and gave him a 'lip-reading' of what I felt. I do it everytime but I am afraid we have crossed all thresholds of any guilt feeling due to honking so it bounces off their thick skins. I do follow the pedestrians lights and it irks me very much when i get honked at while crossing a road under pedestrian green lights


Given that the car industry has really exploded in the last decade or so, it is only a matter of time before we all become completely deaf!
I am pretty much sure that all of us are deaf to varying degrees - its high time that motorists understand that and stop honking. How many times has the time taken to travel been reduced thanks to honking ? I have lived for 45 days without a horn in Mumbai ( I disconnected the wires just to experience it ) , one goes as fast or as slow - honking does not help at all!


I just visited Mumbai for the Ganpati festival and coming from Pune, Mumbai felt like Europe! Minimal honking, driver maturity, wide roads, acceptance of the fact that lanes are for driving within and not on them - beautiful.
Europe ? Pune traffic is horrific ( unruly 2 wheeler traffic mostly to blame ) but calling Mumbai traffic may get you an invitation for citation by the Mumbai Traffic Police Its not as orderly as you make it out to be but definitely better than most cities - my theory is that this is because Mumbai has a lot more visible traffic police . In fact in Mumbai they do have the no honking zones and they do fine people but they are too rare events - there are clear well defined laws on the allowable db limits. Its a problem with our attitude, our doggedness about trying to create space through honking and due to our habit where a law has to be enforced else we tend to break it ( haven't we seen people jumping lights when there are no traffic police ? )
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Old 4th September 2011, 11:13   #41
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Don't want to be a detective over here, but by any chance you were walking on the road?
I wouldn't be throwing stones if I was living in a glass house!

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Yes honking is one of the things that people "returning to India" need to adjust to, and accept as a fact of life in India. Not every city here has roads with wide lanes and drivers educated about lane driving.

So, my suggestion to the OP is to accept it and move on, unlike the slow moving auto in the rightmost lane who wont listen to anything but a loud honk from behind.

Honking is just an effect that we see, which can't be fixed unless the causes are removed.
The harmful effects of 'accepting' and joining in the act is something that I find unacceptable. I agree with you that it is a way of life - but I hope it changes - because the change would be for good! Agreed the lanes are narrower, agreed the traffic is a killer but honking in itself doesn't reduce the traffic nor does it widen the roads! What I'm hinting at is a slightly 'chill' attitude towards the narrow lanes and the traffic. But to take it out on the car in front is just plain short-sighted.

Driver maturity is IMO the need of the hour!
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Old 4th September 2011, 11:48   #42
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

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Originally Posted by cingsman View Post
The harmful effects of 'accepting' and joining in the act is something that I find unacceptable. I agree with you that it is a way of life - but I hope it changes - because the change would be for good! Agreed the lanes are narrower, agreed the traffic is a killer but honking in itself doesn't reduce the traffic nor does it widen the roads! What I'm hinting at is a slightly 'chill' attitude towards the narrow lanes and the traffic. But to take it out on the car in front is just plain short-sighted.

Driver maturity is IMO the need of the hour!
Its not just slow moving traffic that gets honked at. There are more situations that warrant a honk. For example, you got honked at probably because the driver was wary of pedestrians changing directions randomly. Same applies to cyclists and other slow moving vehicles. Even if they are in their lane, its a safe practice to honk and let them know you are overtaking them. Why? Because you can not count on them looking over their shoulder before changing lanes. And god forbid if the unthinkable happens, the car driver will not be let off even if it is not his/her fault.

Adopting a chilled out attitude is not going to help when you are doing the rounds of police station

In India driver maturity calls for accepting that honking is a necessary evil.

EDIT: A loud horn has some other advantages too. For example you can use it to effectively ruin the conversation that the driver in the rightmost lane is having on the phone while driving at 20 kmph. I know its a bit sadistic but... it sure as hell is damn satisfying!

Last edited by amitoj : 4th September 2011 at 11:52.
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Old 4th September 2011, 11:56   #43
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

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I wouldn't be throwing stones if I was living in a glass house!
You were walking on the footpath minding your own business and get honked by a car. Did the guy wanted to use the footpath for driving? That's unacceptable.

BTW, that happens in Mumbai.
An interesting incident I witnessed: A guy carrying a child walking on the footpath and a biker was riding on the footpath from the other direction. The walking guy stopped right in the middle of the footpath, did not budge, got into a loud argument with the biker and eventually forced the biker to get off the footpath.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Its not just slow moving traffic that gets honked at. There are more situations that warrant a honk. For example, you got honked at probably because the driver was wary of pedestrians changing directions randomly. Same applies to cyclists and other slow moving vehicles. Even if they are in their lane, its a safe practice to honk and let them know you are overtaking them. Why? Because you can not count on them looking over their shoulder before changing lanes. And god forbid if the unthinkable happens, the car driver will not be let off even if it is not his/her fault.

Adopting a chilled out attitude is not going to help when you are doing the rounds of police station
I agree. I have mentioned it in one of my posts: "I prefer being deaf to dead".

Last edited by SDP : 4th September 2011 at 12:00.
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Old 4th September 2011, 12:00   #44
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

It is a crime "not to honk" in India. I learnt my lesson with my first car (M800) at an intersection where I was 3/4th's of the way through and bang a scooter hit's me on the left front passenger door. the first thing he says "Why didn't you honk?" He wasn't looking straight ahead and was distracted and he hit's me and asks me to honk as if I had committed a crime. I learn't my lesson that very day and better off with my other cars.
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Old 4th September 2011, 12:11   #45
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

@Souravc- dude read the original post again: he is actually defending Mumbai traffic

Desis are the horniest drivers around- NO pun intended. I've had clients from sub-Saharan Africa make fun of Indian drivers for honking (rightly so)- how embarrassing is that? They call it "hooting" which makes one squirm even more.

Picture this: I am doing about 70 kmph on the Pune bypass on the way back from work. Spot a stretch that's roughened thanks to the monsoons lashing us recently and gradually slow down to tackle this stretch.

The guy behind me goes PAAAAAARP-PAAAARP-PAAAARP.


OK, I tell myself- if that's the way you want it...quickly check that left lane is clear and give him way. The moron zooms past, even accelerates and I hear the satisfying (to me)/horrifying (to him) crunch sound as his underchassis bears the brunt of the newly created pothole.


Last edited by noopster : 4th September 2011 at 12:16. Reason: Removed third smiley
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