Over 8,500 motorists were prosecuted for excessive honking under Kolkata traffic police’s drive that had started last week. Apart from collecting fines, cops are pasting ‘no honking’ stickers on vehicles and instructing the offenders not to honk unnecessarily in the future.
As part of the campaign, which is meant to sensitize people about the adversaries of noise pollution that can be triggered by excessive honking, cops have put up ‘no honking’ signage at more than 700 locations in the city – mostly around hospitals and educational institutions – and have started penalizing those breaking the rule.
“We will extend our drive to new areas. The crackdown is not only meant to penalize offenders but also educate them about the ill effects of noise pollution,” said Santosh Pandey, the deputy commissioner (traffic) of Kolkata Police.
The campaign was launched on August 21 and 1,387 offenders were prosecuted on the first day. Over the last nine days, as more people were made aware of the drive, the prosecution figures came down with 865 persons being fined on Thursday, around 500 less than the figure the authorities had started the drive with.
“It’s a remarkable achievement. The prosecution figures show that people are slowly getting aware of the drive as well as the perils of excessive honking,” said Pandey.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has already banned pressure, multi-toned and musical vehicle horns that are rampantly used by some long-distance buses and trucks. In a notification, the CPCB has asked cops to take action against drivers who honk needlessly, especially in silence zones, and those using air horns.
“A normal ear can hear any sound that is between 0 to 140 decibel. If a person is exposed to more than 80 decibel for eight hours or more at a stretch, it could lead to mild or severe hearing loss,” said Dr Dev Shuvendu Roy, ENT specialist at Fortis Hospital Anandapur. “In addition to affecting the ear, exposure to honking on a continuous basis increases the stress level, people tend to become irritable,” added Dr Shantanu Panja, ENT, head and neck surgeon at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals.
Source: Times of India