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Old 5th September 2011, 07:57   #76
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

I read a few posts here stating - 'lets educate the drivers & discipline them and things will automatically start falling into place.' Most definitely they will. BUT.....

The question always remains. HOW ???? Just how are you going to do that ? Isnt it a bit too late for that ? Off late i have been hearing that the RTO has gotten a bit tougher than before and now in literal words - 'pehele jaise setting kar k kuch nai hota'.
While i dont know how much of this is actually true ( i really hope it is ) ,at the other end the RTOs around the country have already literally distributed licenses to lakhs and lakhs of people throughout the country who have no clue about driving ethics just for the want of MORE money ! ( Calls for an Anna Hazare-type revolution and clean up of our RTO system )

A prime example which kept recurring in my mind when i read about Mumbai with all its traffic snarls ,still being the most tolerable in the country is as simple as this - I have this tendency to completely halt at certain junctions where i can clearly see that the pedestrians waiting to cross the road have hardly any place to stand and are struggling for space or if the person concerned is a kid or an elderly ,so that they can safely cross the road. 2 consistent observations at my end and it pains me that this is the case -
1. 95% of the times i hear heavy honking from behind inspite of the fact that the driver behind can see that people are crossing and i am waiting for them to cross the road. I mean, cant they clearly just SEE what is happening in front of their eyes ?

2. Many a times the pedestrians dont budge from their spot even after i have completely halted. i have to prompt them to go ahead and cross with my hands and facial expressions. More often than not they are either pleasantly stunned or give me a dirty look as they think i am being sarcastic !!
A shrug of the shoulders is all i can manage and just move on.
Sad situation really. 1 end you have places like Dubai,Europe etc where cars wait meters away from pedestrians so they can cross, NO MATTER HOW MUCH TIME IT TAKES & here even 2-3 seconds is too much for the driver to handle.

My inference from all this is, i think it is too late to discipline and change the drivers as there are too many of them already out there. At most what the RTO can do is have stricter norms for people applying for licenses here on so that before they are handed over the license it is confirmed that they surely know what they should NOT be doing. Traffic rules should be made extremely strict, heavy fines should be levied. If necessary the police force should be increased (easier said than done ofcourse). The same driver caught more than twice for a mistake and his car should be taken away for a week or so. Only then could we probably hope to knock some sense into the entire network. Drivers will start gradually improving out of fear of heavy fines etc. more than anything else.
Lastly, i have always wondered, why not offer horns as an added accessory , a VERY expensive one at that, on cars ? (pardon me if this has point has been put forth. I have not read all posts). Is it a MUST for all cars to have in-built horns ? For a country like India, the manufacturers should not offer horns as stock at all. They should levy additional (obscenely expensive) charges or something like a horn-tax !
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Old 5th September 2011, 08:14   #77
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

Interesting thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cingsman View Post
How to educate drivers that honking is not such a good/great/saintly thing after all?
Well, it’s almost like the BMW tagline. Honking is ‘expression of emotions’.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cingsman
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!!
Good point. Actually this is something the bhpians can practice. I am sure most of us are already doing this.


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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
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.
I have personally experienced this in Bangalore. I was waiting for my colleague, and a couple of bikers took the shortcut of riding through the footpath. No arguments, I just mentioned once that it’s a footpath, I will not move, and they should be riding on the road. They tried talking to me a few times, but I did not talk back, and finally they jumped back on to the road, cursing me that I am rude – which was absolutely fine


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Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
It is a crime "not to honk" in India.
Yes, if you don’t use the horn, prepare to get shouted at, especially from the vehicles behind you.


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Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
If the drivers, pedestrians & other moving objects follow proper traffic rules, then the honking will come down to a bare minimum. I in fact agree with couple of posts here that we honk to avoid unnecessary issues.

Some examples:

Stupid drivers on the right most lane driving slowly & not moving to left lane allowing a faster vehicle to overtake.

Morons who simply gets into way without even looking at the road / vehicles coming on to them.

Creeps who over take even on blind curves !
I agree with you. The reason for horn being there is to use it in the situations you mentioned above. If a fellow driver’s / pedestrian’s behavior could result in danger on road, no harm in using the horn. It saves them as well.
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Old 5th September 2011, 08:39   #78
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
My solution for curbing this Honking menace
All manufacturers should invent ways to connect your horn use with your fuel consumption. That is you need to burn some of that precious fuel in order to honk. I believe that should prevent us FE maniacs from honking too much!
Excellent suggestion. Penalising the driver for honking is the only practical solution in India IMO.

Pune is definitely one of the worst cities but Mumbai is not far behind either. With exploding population the driving sense has significantly deteriorated in Mumbai. Delhi/NCR IMO takes the cake for being the worst.

I remember an incident which happened to me back in 2008. We were travelling from Delhi to Haridwar in a Sarkari bus. As always, the bus was packed and the last two available seats were next to the driver. That 6 hour journey turned out to be one of the worst bus journeys of my life. The driver honked every few seconds and the horn level was just unbearable. I had to request him to reduce the honking but his response was –‘Sirji yaha pe bina horn ke koi rasta nahi deta hai’.
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Old 5th September 2011, 09:21   #79
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

Honking is a life saver .These days people drive with compos,woofers playing with side mirrors folded not to mention those using mobiles during driving.
If you haven't driven in kerala roads just try it, not in cities, Highways will do. You immediately will order the loudest air horn available lol.
Today on my office a girl taking over mobile was walking right into my vehicle .Honking didn't help.An air horn could have.
There are so many idots on the road ( see ceat advt) that even sometime honking would not help.
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:08   #80
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

Looking at the situations from a guy with a loud horn under the hood:
One of my friends, an avid motor freak - but a responsible one, had two pairs of twin tone horns installed under his santro's hood. That is FOUR horns playing their symphony. On being asked why, he replied ' yaar koi sunta hi nahi hai !'.

He is a moderator of a reputed stunt group here(has influence on other stunters), and did not go for a pressure horn as did not want to go the illegal way and spread the wrong message. He does not drives rashly or use the horn to bully people out of his way, but he has to use it to ensure safety. there have been more than one incidents of people jumping on the road while chatting to a guy across it. Many are unable to judge the speed of incoming vehicles on national highways and will start crossing it leisurely even if you blink and honk to warn them.

And WHAT THE HELL is with people crossing the road diagonally??!!! it makes their path a bit shorter, but they stay on the road for longer! they should be off it asap but no! they see a shop they would like to check out and start walking straight toward it . roads are supposed to be crossed in a path perpendicular to it!! walk the footpath till u reach are directly in front of the your destination and then cross it in minimum time!! and zebra crossings are way to inconveniently placed, so wont bother advicing to use them.
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:33   #81
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

I had to go through the same phenomenon when I came back after 16 years of driving in Middle east. Hardly used to honk there I found it tough to drive. More impatient is my passengers who ask me to honk if someone is walking in the middle of the road, unaware of car coming behind.
Once I was on a not so busy road and a man was walking on road, with FM headphones on. I was behind him and crawling, assuming that he would move away and did not honk. Suddenly the guy stops and I almost stamped the brakes into the metal. He turns back and walks to me, "Why did you not give horn? Is it not working?"
And I was just speechless!. (Back of my mind says - if I gave my horn to you, how do I honk for the next person on the road???). Honestly, I didn't want to scare him, so I was just following him, assuming he would eventually move to the side of the road.!
That's the day I wrote a blog "Horn OK Please" - Fropper.com Blogs – Free Blogging
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Old 5th September 2011, 13:00   #82
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

Update: drove to office today morning without replacing the blown Horn fuse. Still managed to reach office in about the same time. So no significant benefits of being able to honk and force others to clear the way for me. Of course there were instances where I sorely felt the need to honk, but overall I think they would have made little difference, probably a minute off my normal timing. On the other hand, I am learning the virtue of being patient.
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Old 5th September 2011, 13:03   #83
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

Nice thread!
I hate when people call themselves good drivers when they dont know how to use a horn. Seriously.
From my experience, I have classified them as follows:

1. The Madmen: People who drive at insane speeds on roads meant for laid back commuting. They don't just honk, they keep it pressed and zoom past pretty much like a train going through a crossing. I find them the most irritating, but sadly they are too fast to do anything about .
2. The Newbies: People who have just learnt to drive and/or are very unsure. They honk at anything. Be it overtaking, waiting in line, parking [basement parking- EEKS].
3. The Traffic Regulators: People who honk to make other people aware. Sorry, not just aware, they want to kill them with their horns. You make a mistake and Tee-tee-teeee-teeeeee. A rickshaw guy cant pull fast enough of a light, same story.

I rarely use a horn. In fact I am a bad driver due to the lack of its use. But I believe that the ideal usage of a horn is to catch the attention of a fellow driver, not drill a hole in his brain to get your point across. If your timing is right you can do that with a small tap. You see a person veering in your lane, tap the horn and the other guy acknowledges in most situations. Of course, if the other guy is one of the above then take a back seat and let better sense prevail or you end up pretty much in the same boat.

Sorry for the long rant. I hate horns
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Old 5th September 2011, 13:06   #84
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

A very interesting and relevant thread.

Blowing one's horn (pun intended) is something that almost all Indian's are guilty of, me included, guilty as charged.

This might seems a off-topic but please bear with me till the end.

We will be listening to music on the mobile in a train compartment at full volume, doing Bhajan/Kirtan/Jagrans well into the night, playing music on the new stereo system whose beats can be heard in the Apts below and above, holding stage shows in societies / open grounds with out a care in the world, or even talking loudly, some people actually scream and shout, Indians love everything loud, be it color/taste or in this case unfortunately, noise.

We do not possess basic etiquette and usually have no sense of civic responsibility.

I say "Indians" because I have hardly seen such civic apathy in places i have traveled abroad.

Honking our vehicles horns, I feel is just an extension of this nature, peppered with a healthy dose of impatience.

I have been honked at traffic lights when the lights are red, honked at the second the light turns green, (people's reaction times to the green light would put F1 drivers to shame), honked at in anticipation of the lights GOING to change, and god forbid, if i happen to stall at this CRITICAL juncture, the whole line behind me will go berserk.

Horns are necessary, but in 95% of the situations I see them being used by Indian drivers just to vent their frustration.
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Old 5th September 2011, 13:43   #85
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Update: drove to office today morning without replacing the blown Horn fuse. Still managed to reach office in about the same time. So no significant benefits of being able to honk and force others to clear the way for me. Of course there were instances where I sorely felt the need to honk, but overall I think they would have made little difference, probably a minute off my normal timing. On the other hand, I am learning the virtue of being patient.
I had similar situation last year. My horn switch went kaput and I had to disconnect the horn. (OT - It needed replacement of switch and airbags, that's a separate story.) I drove without horn for more than 3 weeks till replacement was ready. It wasn't easy for me, as most of the two wheelers and three wheelers, who drive in the middle of the road given space and move to side when someone honks behind them. I have seen this as a habit. So, I had to wait behind them until they realize that a car is coming behind them and then they give way. Many instances, I had to just raise the engine with full clutch, just to make the noise to make them aware, which is worse than honking, as I burn more fuel, emit more CO2 and on top of it, others look at my car as if the clutch cable is broken or something!
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Old 5th September 2011, 14:12   #86
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

I see a lot of posts damning the Indian drivers for excessive use of horns and for being impatient. I think we also need to take into account the driving situation in India. I think someone has already pointed out that the driving situation in India isn't the best in the world, with no lane markings, no proper traffic management system, lack of traffic rules enforcements (which results in encroachment of other entities on the driveable roads), and last but not the least, the famous potholes.

For those who wish hell to the honkers, let me recite an experience: A few weeks ago my uncle expired of a heart attack. He had wished to donate his body, so we got in touch with a local NGO to arrange for the formalities. The body would have to be taken to the nearest government medical college, within six hours of death. As we took the body in an ambulance, while passing through a town en route, there were some people who cut into the lane of the ambulance and didn't budge despite the ambulance driver switching on the siren. Do you sincerely expect drivers not to resort to honking in such cases? And mind you, these are not really an exception.

I think instead of discussing who is right and who is wrong, we should focus on what we can do to improve the situation. How many of us would resolve to not using their horns at all? I do have half a mind to try it out. Are there any others? And this shouldn't just be on specific days, but should be all the time. Let's see how many can actually help us reduce the noise pollution.
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Old 5th September 2011, 15:13   #87
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

I agree. Horns should be used only if there is no other way out to get a clear path. I would also like to point out that loud horns have an alarming effect i.e. a person crossing a road on foot/bike,if honked at from close quarters,may get stunned and fail to move(i have seen such cases several times). Honking can lead to more trouble than reducing it in such cases.
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Old 5th September 2011, 15:59   #88
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That reminds me, I drove my RX for 7+ years without a single Honk!! I refused to repair the horn after it was broken - for the same sentiments expressed in this thread. I faced no problems without it. All I did was anticipate early and slow down or stop before surprising anyone. And traffic jams don't start moving magically because we honk.

--Ragul

Last edited by Ragul : 5th September 2011 at 16:00.
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Old 5th September 2011, 16:28   #89
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

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Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
That reminds me, I drove my RX for 7+ years without a single Honk!! I refused to repair the horn after it was broken - for the same sentiments expressed in this thread. I faced no problems without it. All I did was anticipate early and slow down or stop before surprising anyone. And traffic jams don't start moving magically because we honk.

--Ragul
Logical thinking @Ragul; May there be more of your breed.

However, one of the few places horn is useful is where people seldom use it. At night dogs and cat on road get dazzled by lights and get run over. Honking gives them bearing and distance perception and they escape.
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Old 5th September 2011, 16:32   #90
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Logical thinking @Ragul; May there be more of your breed.

However, one of the few places horn is useful is where people seldom use it. At night dogs and cat on road get dazzled by lights and get run over. Honking gives them bearing and distance perception and they escape.

Actually Raj I have seen a lot of these street dogs are a little deaf , possibly due to high noise pollution levels they suffer constantly. I have been following the practice of blinking the headlights and it seems to work better than honking. I only honk as a last resort. Somehow they notice the flicker of blinking lights from the corner of the eye and varying reflections of all objects in front of them where the light is falling, better than the beep of a horn.

Try it!

--Ragul
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