Despite ban, pressure horns a nuisance on Patiala roads

Despite ban, pressure horns a nuisance on Patiala roads

Pressure horns installed atop a bus in Patiala. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 25

Almost four years after the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) decided to ban the manufacture, sale, purchase and fitting of pressure horns and such sound-emitting devices in the state, transporters, including truck and bus owners, continue to flout the rules with impunity and make driving hell for other motorists. Buses can be seen plying at a high speed on highways and using pressure horns.

Despite the presence of traffic police personnel in the city, hundreds of vehicles flout traffic norms. The district transport office and the traffic police have failed to enforce the ban orders on the use of pressure horns, especially in the vicinity of schools and hospitals. Ravee Singh Ahluwalia, Patiala Foundation, NGO

In 2017, the Punjab Pollution Control Board had put a ban on the manufacturing of high-decibel horns so that vehicles should not be fitted with power, pressure or musical horns, giving a sharp, shrill and alarming noise. Vehicles found with such horns would be challaned and horns would be confiscated, the PPCB had warned.

“Traffic junctions have no rules on permissible sound levels for honking or vehicular noise. Horns on highways emanate noise as high as 100 to 10 decibels (db) – equal to the noise levels at a rock concert,” said PPCB officials.

“This is above the safe limit suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which cautions that long-term exposure to noise levels from 85 db to 90 db can lead to hearing loss,” they added.

Meanwhile, caring two hoots about the norms, government as well as private vehicles continue to use pressure horns and hooters to make their presence felt on the city roads.

“Despite the presence of traffic police personnel in the city, hundreds of vehicles flout traffic norms on the roads. The district transport office and the traffic police have failed to enforce the ban orders on the use of pressure horns, especially in the vicinity of schools and hospitals,” said Ravee Singh Ahluwalia from Patiala Foundation, an NGO that works on road safety.

A traffic police official said: “A majority of the heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses using pressure horns are owned either by politicians or persons having political connections. When we stop them, they contact some senior official and we have to obey the orders. For proper implementation, we need clear directions in this regard from the seniors”.

Meanwhile, senior officials confirmed that they would launch a drive to check such misuse.

The order

In 2017, the Punjab Pollution Control Board had put a ban on the manufacturing of high-decibel horns so that vehicles should not be fitted with power, pressure or musical horns, giving a sharp, shrill and alarming noise. Vehicles found with such horns would be challaned and horns would be confiscated, the PPCB had warned.

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