‘ Horn OK Please ‘ or ‘ Blow Horn ‘ which is commonly painted on trucks, buses or local taxis in India is being done away with, at least in Maharashtra. The phrase was used to alert drives of a vehicle approaching from behind to sound horn in case of overtaking, but as announced by the State Transport Department on Thursday, this decision to ban the phrase is being taken to bring culture change into the country and deter drivers from unnecessary honking.
Transport commissioner, Mahesh Zagade has instructed all Regional Transport Offices to take action against any erring vehicles that continue to sport this sign. He has also stated that even vehicles that come into the state of Maharashtra will have abide by this rule, failing which stern action will be taken. The Traffic Police on their part have been trying to educate people to avoid using their horns unnecessarily and have even tied up with local NGOs and other groups to ensure a change in the attitudes of drivers.
Several years ago when roads were narrower, it was necessary to honk to alert the driver in front while overtaking. However, now a days with wider roads and four and six lane highways, lights and indicators can be used instead of honking. ‘ Horn OK Please ’ is a violation of Section 134(1) of Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Rules and will now attract a fine of INR 500 and suspension of permits if violated.
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Noise activists have welcomed this new regulation. They argue that continuous honking specially in residential areas causes much disturbance while honking near schools, colleges and hospitals is also a nuisance.