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Old 6th September 2011, 19:35   #106
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

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Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
+1. Most of the times when we are stalled, the first thought that comes to mind would be to start the vehicle and move ahead. Not about the honks or the irate vehicles around. Hence we have to excuse people who are stalled and not honk the hell out of them if they forget to signal the vehicles behind to move on.
The other day there was a stalled vehicle close to Areke signal. He had stopped the car on the left side of the road, to his credit. But he could have easily pushed it (it was M800 and there were two men in the car) to a car park right next to where he was stalled. I had to remind him to do that otherwise he would have stayed there for eternity.
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Old 6th September 2011, 20:00   #107
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Default Re: Honk levels in India

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Dear cingsman, this is what I was afraid of when I asked the question in my first post on this thread.
In my opinion, it does not matter if you are in the middle of the road or the edge of the road. As long as you are on the road, you are in the car's territory and to a large extent a car driver is justified to honk in order to ensure that you don't suddenly change direction or decide to cross the road.
The loudness of the horn, its duration and the driver's intentions are debatable, but not necessarily the act itself.

Just because the vegetable and fruit vendors encroached on your right to use the footpath, does not mean that you should encroach the right of the drivers to use the road. If one has a problem with the street-vendors, he/she should take it with the right authority. Doing one wrong in response to another wrong is not the correct way to solve problems.

PS: Nothing personal buddy. I am pretty sure a significant majority of tbhpians (including me) are related to industries which give you extended period of global exposure and the inevitable comparison of cultures and practices is a given. I have struggled myself to come to terms with the 'Indian' reality after returning.

As you are aware, US recommends 'defensive' driving in which you are constantly alert and watching out for risky situations and taking corrective actions before they happen. Although, I have a strong dislike for people with loud horns and people who honk unnecessarily, you will find me honking much more frequently than overseas to keep other vehicles, animals and humans out of the car's way. I call it the 'aggressive' defensive style of driving

Buddy,

No offense taken! May I..

Just because vegetable stalls have taken over the pedestrian's space does not give the pedestrian the right to walk on the road. We'll keep the issue of taking that up with the right authorities for another day. Maybe its just me but when I walk, I ensure that I walk on the part of the road where cars don't run along - I mean the absolute edge. Strictly speaking, the road is for the car to drive on and I hope it remains that way - because I am equally irritated when people walk in the middle of the road! (I'm on the other side of the counter now, aren't I?)

My irritation was more about the db. But, let me stop playing the NRI victim here and say, albeit for the moment, that I was in the wrong.

All my efforts were to use that example to focus on the bigger picture. Many comments have suggested to accept honking and loud road noise as a way of life in India. I wholeheartedly disagree to this ideology.

If T-BHPians - and if I may call us homies a bunch of passionate car owners/drivers/techies - decide to overlook some basic driving etiquettes, rules, common courtesies, then there is serious trouble! Agreed, foreign country driving etiquettes are vastly matured - they have wide roads, lesser traffic jams, lane discipline, lesser or no peds walking the streets etc. But, think about it; a regular drive to the boring Walmart is more pleasurable than our regular drive here in India (when you look through the 'noise' perspective). So why not create such an environment in India, I ask; and what better forum to prop up a topic like this than in here!

It always has to start somewhere - and if say 50 of us honk at least 30% less because of increased awareness due to this forum or otherwise - would you not be a happy dawg? I sure would be! Again, safety is first, noise reduction is second!

Many a time, I just crawl up to a 2-wheeler who is crawling in the fast lane. Without my honking, he realizes I am behind him and moves aside to let my car move ahead. So, you see it is an issue of awareness. Acceptance that you can drive slower than some other drivers on the road and awareness of the manner of your road presence and how it can trouble others.

The concept of 'your existence and its effect on your surroundings' is a concept still alien to India! Wouldn't you agree?
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Old 6th September 2011, 20:12   #108
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

cingsman, Appreciate your maturity and your views.

Although a lot of people are apprehensive about the difference a few tbhpians can make to the overall sound level in our city, I am with you on 'each one can contribute their own bit'.

You and this thread has definitely had a impact on me. As listed in my previous post, I honked only 5 times while going to office. Observed more patient attitude during my journey back and believe me, I honked only twice. Felt good. The problem does not go away in entirety just by mature attitude, but it definitely improves the situation. Thanks buddy.
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Old 7th September 2011, 06:36   #109
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

In a somewhat feeble attempt at Humour, Horns in India are used to express some of the following nuances of emotion;

1. Anger and Rage - much like the trumpeting of an enraged elephant separated from its calf.
2. Announcement of one's "presence" - the 'grand entrance' (a grand delusionary effort since one generally does not have the benefit of an entourage unless one is a politico or dignitary) - this is like the typical fanfare that accompanies the arrival of "Royalty".
3. Unrequited love or bare lust as the case may be when seeing an "interesting" member of the opposite gender on the road or in another car.
4. Sheer joy and boisterousness on the roads
5. A deep and uncontrollable urge to show everyone a new acquisition on 4 wheels
6. The "my time is more valuable than yours" feeling - which is rampant in India overall
7. An affirmation of "Might is Right" -pushing lesser mortals and smaller vehicles out of the way - like those Aristocrats of old, buzzing along in their newly acquired chariots shouting "Out of the way peasant! Make way for your betters!"

Enjoy!

We Indians are quite a noisy bunch of chaps overall - the general decibel levels even in conversation are quite high. Quite like the Mediterranean Italians and French or some of the Lat-AM countries. But thats us! Love us - love our noisiness!
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Old 7th September 2011, 10:30   #110
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

With majority of cars on the road being driven without their Rear View Mirrors open, how do you announce that you are going to pass them ? Horn of course. Lesson i learnt within 1 month of returning from Germany. I dont think horn is going to go away until people understand that using RVMs is as essential as steering and brakes.
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Old 7th September 2011, 11:41   #111
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

@ethanhunt123; It is very common to see 'helpful' parking lot attendants and/or fellow motorists trying to help you by folding the mirrors. We just do not seem to realise that they are essential accessories. Thankfully, more and more cars are coming with powered ORVMs so; i. you can fold them when you park, and ii. they can be swung back to the old setting. With manual mirrors it is a real pain with passenger side mirror settings which have been disturbed.
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Old 7th September 2011, 15:23   #112
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

For every situation of traffic, the Motor Vehicles Act has specified the precautions to be taken by drivers, both victims as well as others. So if you have read through the Act while getting your driver's license, you are expected to know it all. If not, well, time to pick up the book and learn. The Motor Vehicles Act describes in detail how you should drive on ordinary roads, roads marked with lane separators, roads with dividers, intersections with signals, intersections without signals, stalled vehicles and other obstacles, overtaking rules and any other eventuality one may face. Why not use it?

I am now running in my third day without using the horn. I actually am in two minds as to whether I should at all get it fixed. I shall, eventually, because having a non-working horn may be against the Motor Vehicles Act. But yes, it's possible to continue your daily rides/drives without using the horn even once! FYI I drive 25km one way, so a total of 50kms a day, through one of the busiest and worst traffic areas this side of Thane. The town of Kalyan is crawling with not only the two, three, four and multi-wheeler vehicles, it also features horse-carts. So far I have been making it good without a horn.
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Old 7th September 2011, 15:44   #113
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
In a somewhat feeble attempt at Humour, Horns in India are used to express some of the following nuances of emotion;

6. The "my time is more valuable than yours" feeling - which is rampant in India overall
7. An affirmation of "Might is Right" -pushing lesser mortals and smaller vehicles out of the way - like those Aristocrats of old, buzzing along in their newly acquired chariots shouting "Out of the way peasant! Make way for your betters!"

We Indians are quite a noisy bunch of chaps overall - the general decibel levels even in conversation are quite high. Quite like the Mediterranean Italians and French or some of the Lat-AM countries. But thats us! Love us - love our noisiness!
Points 6 & 7 probably are the most relevant with regards to honking. I guess retaining our character \ spirit is perfectly fine but this does not necessarily have to be a part of our driving experience as it does not make the experience any better. I understand that you are not suggesting that we do but just wanted to highlight this.

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The Motor Vehicles Act describes in detail how you should drive on ordinary roads, roads marked with lane separators, roads with dividers, intersections with signals, intersections without signals, stalled vehicles and other obstacles, overtaking rules and any other eventuality one may face. Why not use it?

The town of Kalyan is crawling with not only the two, three, four and multi-wheeler vehicles, it also features horse-carts. So far I have been making it good without a horn.
Forget road users, the sad part is that people related to driver training, licensing and enforcement of traffic rules have little knowledge about road rules. Speak to anyone that's recently been trained in a driving school and it becomes obvious where the root of the problem lies. Sure we as road users need to take it upon ourselves to learn the rules but there has to be a fix to the systemic problem if we are to see tangible improvements.

Kudos to you for tying to drive without honking. I tried to avoid honking as much as possible when I was driving in India. I also tried to spread the message of defensive driving among colleagues, drivers working in my organization, taxi drivers etc. Most of them were receptive to my suggestions but few were able to change habits formed in the course of their driving experience. And the fact everyone else on the road abuses the horn creates a sort of peer pressure to keep the habit alive, I suppose
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Old 7th September 2011, 15:57   #114
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

yes. this is correct because we are genetically programmed I think, to be in a constant rush.

personally I detest honking - if avoidable dont do it at all.
unavoidable cases are when someone is cutting lanes without warning, barging in suddenly and perhaps if a pedestrian/ cyclist hasnt realized you're coming along behind him/ her and is continuing to jaywalk/ jaycycle on the road.

But in the case of pedestrians I hate honking at them because I hate being honked at when I am walking along the left side of the road in case there's no pavement!

hence I try and tap the horn very lightly just to emit a small sound, instead of blasting it at the poor pedestrian/ cyclist.

Anywhere else in the civilized world honking is consdered terribly impolite. I wish that we would also evolve into considering it the same.
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Points 6 & 7 probably are the most relevant with regards to honking. I guess retaining our character \ spirit is perfectly fine but this does not necessarily have to be a part of our driving experience as it does not make the experience any better. I understand that you are not suggesting that we do but just wanted to highlight this.
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Old 7th September 2011, 17:02   #115
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

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yes. this is correct because we are genetically programmed I think, to be in a constant rush.
Nope, we have trained ourselves to be in a constant rush, by learning one-liners such as "Time is money" and "Money saved is money earned".

So, just as we have learned some bad habits, we can always unlearn them and learn the good ones.

How about the horns were removed from all the vehicles? Would people ride horses and cows?
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Old 7th September 2011, 17:58   #116
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

@ honeybee

'Time is money' makes a lot of sense from a business perspective.
But that does not mean that we try and save time by risking life and limb. The whole world is a mad rush but we don't see everyone drives like we do in India. On the contrary some who really lives by that adage will consider alternate modes of travel such as a two wheeler or public transport (the metro) rather than being stuck in traffic in an expensive car.

I would certainly reiterate the message in the earlier posts - its attitudes such as 'me first' , 'my car is bigger than your car', the bad precedent set by people that drove us around (parents, chauffeurs, friend) at an impressionable age coupled with the non-existent training apparatus in our country leads to the madness that passes off as driving.
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Old 7th September 2011, 18:36   #117
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

How about a new sticker from tbhp: "Honk if you are an idiot" ?

Would love to put that on the back of my car
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Old 7th September 2011, 22:09   #118
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

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How about a new sticker from tbhp: "Honk if you are an idiot" ?

Would love to put that on the back of my car

Great Idea. My vote's on this.
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Old 8th September 2011, 06:46   #119
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

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cingsman, Appreciate your maturity and your views.

Although a lot of people are apprehensive about the difference a few tbhpians can make to the overall sound level in our city, I am with you on 'each one can contribute their own bit'.

You and this thread has definitely had a impact on me. As listed in my previous post, I honked only 5 times while going to office. Observed more patient attitude during my journey back and believe me, I honked only twice. Felt good. The problem does not go away in entirety just by mature attitude, but it definitely improves the situation. Thanks buddy.

GREAT GOING BUDDY! I feel vindicated . I had myself tried it over a couple of days of office driving and honked only once in those 2 days. Boy, its tough but it sure does make you feel good about yourself once you know what you have accomplished!

!!
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Old 8th September 2011, 10:23   #120
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

you're probably right. economic considerations seem to outweigh all else in society today.

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Nope, we have trained ourselves to be in a constant rush, by learning one-liners such as "Time is money" and "Money saved is money earned".

So, just as we have learned some bad habits, we can always unlearn them and learn the good ones.

How about the horns were removed from all the vehicles? Would people ride horses and cows?
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