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Old 2nd March 2021, 16:42   #1
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Default The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Many years back, while driving on the chaotic Ring road in Delhi, before the flyovers were built, my wife remarked "wouldn't it be great if honking on the horn came at a price? Like say, each time you honk 5 litres of petrol vanish from your vehicle." In those days, when most cars didn't have air conditioning and our windows were rolled down, her idea seemed like a magic cure to India's traffic stupidity number one.

Since then the roads and horns have only become more chaotic. We have gotten stupider as a whole. Horns aren't even the most stupid thing about our driving anymore. But still horns hurt. This morning at 6 o'clock, when the roads in Mumbai are empty, I heard a brand new Creta, driven by an obvious cretin, honk with a particularly loud horn, that seems to be a Creta special. I was running on the opposite side of the road and I doubt he was worried about me. We live in a world that's driven to distraction by mindless honking on the roads. It's so bad that studies are suggesting that large swaths of the population will have, if they don't already have it, hearing loss.

So, my question- what would you think about a petition to car/bike manufacturers to make horns an optional accessory in India? Maybe something like 10K additional for a horn in a new vehicle? Make it akin to a sin tax. We in India love sin taxes anyway. Why not one more? Gormint will be so happy.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 16:46   #2
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Oh dear Lord, I do hope the horn doesn't go the route of the missing spare tyre !

I rarely use my horn, but yes it is essential. Many a time, some idiot would come into my path and the horn basically saved both of us.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 2nd March 2021 at 19:13. Reason: many a times > many a time.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 16:51   #3
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Honking is just a symptom.

The root cause is the general apathy towards driving rules leading to:

- a constant fear of someone jumping a signal or coming out of a narrow lane from nowhere making nervous drivers to honk at any given instance

- driving becoming an act of survival of the fittest where people feel that they can bully their way through by honking or by just driving a bigger vehicle

The only long term solution is:

- Enforcement of traffic rules for those who are already on the roads with heavy penalties (classic example is the strict adherence of speed limits and stop line post e-challans)

- Traffic etiquette becoming an important part of schooling for kids (who will become future drivers)

- Better infrastructure (road markings, timed traffic signals, scientifically designed intersections et al) to prevent congestion and dangerous situations in the first place
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Old 2nd March 2021, 16:55   #4
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Hmm, I guess the next one is headlights!

I agree that a lot of them who graduate from an Scooter to a car would use the horn just as much which is a nuisance.

A loud horn is essential at least for me and I have the loudest set available. I travel to places where there are plenty of blind corners, no run off and plenty of idiots who think no one would ever come from the opposite side and travel at blinding speeds through it all.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 16:57   #5
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Dear MadinMumbai:

please get pedestrians off the road and on to the foot-path, make them cross the road at crossings, pls inculcate lane discipline and traffic sense amongst all drivers - especially the two wheelers, and I promise NOT to use the horn in the vehicle I am driving.

Thank you.


Last edited by condor : 2nd March 2021 at 17:22.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:08   #6
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Build sealed horn units with a fuse inside, honk a bit longer or frequent & puff it goes !

Have anyone noticed that lacking a working horn could infact make one drive a bit defensively. Well i did, with the bike in Bangy traffic, but can't think of driving a car like that.

I'm hyper irritated by honking & still worried of losing cool and ending in a rough situation, its just like being shouted at.

Last edited by Rennjit : 2nd March 2021 at 17:12.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:09   #7
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

One word: Muscle memory.

Do you guys want to know an interesting fact? When Honda entered Indian 2W market with as Hero-Honda, the first part to fail excessively and have a quality improvement was the horn.

I would say, the most ignored road sign is also the "no horn zone", people don't even know that it exists. Some people honk the way out of a jam/slow moving traffic and it has become a habit for them, else might lead to a road rage.

Easiest way to address this problem is to reduce the sound level and that is what the regulations tried to do in 2018 via an amendment! But there wasn't much of a difference. May be the government should bring a rule that horn counts should be electronically limited to "x" per day, with some provision for emergency situations.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:10   #8
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Dear MadinMumbai:

please get pedestrians off the road and on to the foot-path, make them cross the road at crossings, pls inculcate lane discipline amongst all drivers - especially the two wheelers, and I promise NOT to use the horn in the vehicle I am driving.
@MadinMumbai I drive a polo 2014 model and it's horn is by far amongst the loudest I've heard. I'm sure it would give the stock creta horn a run for it's money. I Couldn't have said it better myself. This is a similar stace to banning all plastic because people litter. I'm a fellow Mumbaikar and I rarely honk the horn but when I do honk its for a genuine concern towards human safety or car damage so making it an optional accessory won't work.

As plastic use demands a sense of responsibility, honking needs to be used responsibly by the driver. This is the only solution.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:11   #9
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
please get pedestrians off the road...and on to the foot-path, make them cross the road at crossings, pls inculcate lane discipline amongst all driversI promise NOT to use the horn in the vehicle I am driving.
Add to that...
  • That govt bus driver (KA, TN, TS, AP & UP states for sure) who block the entire traffic when awaiting at bus stand
  • SETC (interstate buses) buses are best, the only thing they cannot do is 90 degree turn to highway from standstill bus stand
  • That auto driver who blocks the flowing traffic just because he's negotiating with a customer
  • The Aavin (govt milk van) has right to stop anywhere on the road to unload the milk
  • Morning 10:00 Am, peak hour traffic, the garbage truck occupies 75% of the road because he's entitled
  • Forget GJ, even in Chennai, gowshala is at the median where people want to take U turn or wondering if cows have become super intelligent to cross the road exactly when a car tries to take U turn

All the cyclists, pedestrians, buffalo, non buffalo, If it's city yes I can get it condoned. All the above are on highway which is extremely dangerous, if not for them, for those people who value their life to cause the honking

Years ago, I was with a cab driver (his name was Mr. Palani) he's a kind of driver who cannot stop honking for even for 5 minutes. Once all of us got irritated (some laughed though) when he kept honking on an empty stretch post midnight (those who know the stretch of Chennai ONE during the 2006 time period before the toll) atleast some 5-6 times. Best part? Even after pointing this out, his attitude changed just for a day, from next day, his neurons fired & he started firing the horn!!

Last edited by aargee : 2nd March 2021 at 17:14.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:11   #10
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Lol. As irritating as it is, the horn is an absolute necessity in India.

While I don't remember using/needing it outside of our country, I use it very liberally here.

To the pedestrian using a significant portion of the road, despite the footpath being just a few feet away
To the vehicle driver (2W, 4W, auto) that chose to stop right on the road to talk to a friend they just saw on the road
The tractor/2W/cab/auto driving on the wrong side, albeit with headlight and blinkers on
The cattle napping in the right most lane
The millennial riding with huge headphone, oblivious to traffic around
The majority of our country that lacks common sense, discipline, courtesy
...
...
...

You get the gist. And your plan is to eliminate the horn? Lol again.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:14   #11
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Whether we like it or not, horn is a safety system. It aurally warns others about our presence thus preventing many accidents.
But just like many things that were conceived with right intentions, it gets abused. We are talking about it because more often than not, we are on the receiving end of this abuse because of so many mindless folks on the road.
Imagine what would happen if we didn't have a horn.

Imagine driving in the hills without a horn. There are blind corners after blind corners where you have to warn others else an accident is pretty much guaranteed.

Imagine driving in your lane and someone starts cutting in oblivious to your presence. The horn is the only way to tell the other person "Hey there mate, I'm still here. Look before you move over!"
Then when a stationery car needs to enter the road and you are about to cross him, the horn is the only way to say "Buddy, hold on. I cant slow down for you".

When you are driving in a crowded shopping area where almost all footpaths are occupied by hawkers and everyone is walking on the road and having a jolly time, the horn is the only way to say "Please allow me to interrupt your merrymaking while I use the road to drive!"

The list is endless.

So making the horn a chargeable accessory would not work. It would increase accidents manifold, especially in our country.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:17   #12
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadinMumbai View Post
Make it akin to a sin tax. We in India love sin taxes anyway. Why not one more? Gormint will be so happy.
Such horn-y people we are, no? Maybe that explains our exploding population. (sorry, couldn't resist the obvious joke)

Anyway, here's a related thread for your browsing pleasure:

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/stree...ng-menace.html (No horn please! (Honking Menace))

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 2nd March 2021 at 17:26.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:22   #13
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

I once signed up for No honk Monday in Chandigarh. Sometime around 2014.

On my way back to home from work, I was standing at a traffic light. This yellow coloured college bus standing parallel to me started drifting towards my lane at a speed of 4-5kmph. Since I had religiously subscribed to the event, I didnt honk. It eventually brushed against my ORVM and gave it a mild scratch. I honked my way home for the rest of the journey and never signed up for no honk day madness.

Anyway, those who travel with me know that I rarely honk (only one absolutely needed except the case above).

Removing the horn will increase accidents, especially in blind curves in hills.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:23   #14
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

Think of horn as an additional brake. It helps you to minimize using the actual brakes in the following scenarios that i can think of:

1. Lady with her children on a scooty in the rightmost lane during a school errand with just 2 mins to school bell.
2. A cretin who crosses the road while talking on the mobile without looking.
3. The jerk who thinks he is on a Ferrari while he is actually driving Piaggio ape.
4. An overgrown ape inside a car who veers too close to your car and is too busy to notice since he is talking on his mobile.
5. A big dump truck driven by a maniac who slips on the clutch while negotiating an upward slope obviously with you just behind him.
6. A cow/dog/deer/goat on a highway.
7. Obvious showoffs on a Yamaha RX100.

A horn is the best bet in handling such cases since braking, maneuvering, swearing would not bring you the best results. What's more, you actually extend the age of your brake pads.

Hence, the wisdom of the slogan " HORN OK PLEASE'

PS : I have listed the scenarios in decreasing order of danger of escalation.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 17:23   #15
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Default re: The horn menace | Indians are honking way too much

If we limit the scope of discussion to whether HORN AS A FUNCTIONALITY is required, then answer would be very simple. It is required to let people or animals know that some vehicle is coming on the road and you are obstructing its way. Topic ends here.

But the scope is not limited to just HORN AS A FUNCTION.

More than function, it is culture. In a given culture, how the horn sound is interpreted by public?

In india, majority of people consider this as INDICATION or alarm for them to give way to vehicles. Hence it is more of an accepted feature.

In abroad, blowing horn is considered an insult. If a driver blows horn, there are instances where people have gone to courts(No offence to anyone)

So, thanks to IT firms and software industries, people started visiting and settling in foreign countries in last 2-3 decades and started imbibing foreign culture in the context of blowing horn.

Now, there is a mixed culture in india. People who are still accustomed to Indian culture never feel offended if someone horns behind them. This is only AN INDICATION for them to give way. And when these people blow the horn, it is just a feature for them to alert people or animals on road to move away from their path. So, they freely use the function to max extent possible without bothering what other person thinks or interpreted.

However, People who are accustomed to foreign culture will feel they are insulted when someone behind them honks and reacts accordingly. Also, they think 100 times to honk even to drive a dog away from their way.

My view, the interpretation of the horn is causing all these issues. I will interprete it as a sound alerting me to give way. And when I horn, I just mean that the person on road is obstructing my way. I never honk to insult any individual on the road. So, horn is REQUIRED.

Last edited by gkveda : 2nd March 2021 at 17:44.
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