Bangalore: Shhhh! There are hopes that the crowded and noisy city of Bangalore may be just a little bit quieter from now on. A new initiative has been launched to try and bring some element of peace into the city's mad traffic.
The 'I Won't Honk Campaign' is a citizen's initiative that has police support for its ambitious aim: to get drivers to take a pledge that they will not honk unless it is absolutely necessary.
This will not be an easy task. Honking seems part of the Indian driver's DNA. It would appear that many people believe vehicles in India will only go forward if the horn is tooted. Honking seems to be an essential part of the Indian driving experience. In traffic, on empty roads, while overtaking, and while being overtaken.
The campaign is being supported by a man more usually associated with the straight drive - the quiet, 'let my bat do the talking' cricketer, Rahul Dravid.
The Wall, as the cricketer is known, said, "Honking is just an unnecessary nuisance on the roads - it doesn't help people get to a place faster and it doesn't help us be safer. I think if we all take this pledge it will be really good for the city and the peace of mind for people who commute in this city and spend long hours on this road."
The view is echoed by Shyam Sundar S Pani, a force behind the campaign who insists, "Honking doesn't mean that you move faster. Honking just means and shows that you are indisciplined in driving."
All we can say is 'Hear, hear.'
The city's traffic police, whose eardrums no doubt have to face the loudest assault, are all for the new campaign. They say that 'No Honking Mondays' that have already been introduced have resulted in a 4.5% reduction in noise pollution. The Additional Commissioner of Police, M A Saleem said he hope the initiative would help in reducing the noise pollution in the city to a very large extent.