Wednesday, July 28

No honking: Cops to identify stretches near schools, hospitals

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The city police has decided to identify specific stretches in the city — with a mix of hospitals and schools like College Street and Park Street — where they will have zero tolerance for honking.
Police said once the identification of these silent zones are done, they will carry out an extensive campaign. After that, anyone found honking without a valid reason will be fined.

The drive, though, will not remain confined to collecting fines. Instead, cops will also ensure smooth flow of traffic, which will ensure that motorists will not need to honk. Necessary notifications along with instructions will be put up across the stretch. The cops will begin with College Street — which already is a silent zone. In all, cops plan to implement the silent zone across a dozen places.

“We will now concentrate on specific stretches. This will help us drill the purpose of our drive in to the minds of motorist,s ,” said an officer at Lalbazar. DC (traffic) Santosh Pandey, who was one of the officers whose started this drive, said both education and enforcement will go hand in hand.

“A stretch by stretch approach will provide a better possibility of success,” he said.

The lack of driving etiquette due to the absence of lanes and proper road signs has always plagued Kolkata, and horns have been no exceptions — even those driving right next to city hospitals. Though no-honking signs have made an appearance in recent years, they are hardly adhered to as there is little punitive action against the offenders.

“Now, there are no-honking signs before all major schools and hospitals. But drivers turn a blind eye to them as they know it is difficult for the police to spot the offenders in dense traffic,” said a sergeant who is generally posted along the Park Street-Mullick Bazaar stretch. With more air-conditioned cars on the roads now, most motorists are insulated from the sound outside and don’t give way for other vehicles to overtake, leading to more honking.

“Ïf we receive success here, more such streets will be identified,” said DC Pandey.



Source: Times of India

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