Hyderabad Traffic Police gives RTC, private buses 15 days to replace air horns

"Most RTC, private buses, and other heavy vehicles in the Hyderabad Tri-Commissionorate area use air horns," he said. However, air horns are not allowed as per the Center's Motor Vehicle Act, Rule 119.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  16 March 2022 2:09 PM GMT
Hyderabad Traffic Police gives RTC, private buses 15 days to replace air horns

Hyderabad: A few days ago, Joint Traffic Commissioner of Police A V Ranganath and his team checked what kinds of horns buses are using. "Most RTC, private buses, and other heavy vehicles in the Hyderabad Tri-Commissionorate area use air horns," Ranganath told NewsMeter.

However, air horns are not allowed as per the Center's Motor Vehicle Act, Rule 119. In an attempt to curb noise pollution in the city and move towards making Hyderabad a honking-free city, the Hyderabad Traffic police have given 15-days time to all vehicles that have air horns to replace their horns.

"We used a Sound Level Meter (SLM) and found that all the air horns sound more than 110 decibels. The sound limit for horns is 80 decibels," Ranganath said.

"Air horns are extremely loud and should not be used. When we held a meeting with bus drivers (both RTC and private bus drivers) they informed us that the air horn is still being used so that anyone, particularly animals (cattle), crossing the highway can hear the horn," said Ranganath. He pointed out that air horns are an added feature and do not come along with the vehicle.

He added that the drivers said that the drivers would install additional horns (electric) to use in the city limits and would use air horns when they are on the highway.

"For cattle, it wouldn't matter if the horn is loud or not. And moreover, air horns are illegal. If all the air horns in the city are not replaced within the next 15 days then we will impose challans," he said. Additionally, the Hyderabad Traffic Police is currently talking with authorities to see to it that criminal cases (under Indian Penal Codes) be filed against those vehicles who are using air horns post-March.

"If private buses are using air horns, then the company employees will be booked. If RTC buses are found using air horns then the respective Depot Managers will be booked," Ranganath said.

This action against sound horns is being taken as part of the attempt to make Hyderabad a no-honking city. "The initiative was proposed by Minister KT Rama Rao. He wrote to authorities seeking interest in making Hyderabad a honking-free zone," Ranganath said.

A committee comprising of Hyderabad Commissioner CV Anand, Cyberabad Commissioner Stephen Raveendra, and Rachakonda Commissioner Mahesh Bhagawat, along with Ranganath, have been formed. A preliminary report on multiple ways to curb noise pollution in the city will be submitted to the authorities soon.

After March, apart from stopping vehicles that have air horns, the Hyderabad Traffic Police will also book mechanics who fix air horns and also the manufacturers. "We will curb the whole chain and work seriously towards making the city devoid of air horns," Ranganath said.

Bikes and Cars using air horns or horns sounding more than 110 decibels will also be fined heavily.

Action on silencers, unnecessary honking

As per the Motor Vehicles Act, it is not legal to tamper with the original design of the manufacturing of bikes or vehicles. "This includes tampering with silencers so that they sound loud. This contributes to the sound pollution in the city as well," Ranganath explained. He said that there are a lot of vehicles that have tampered with their silencers and added that action will be taken against mechanics who are modifying the silencers.

In addition to this, the Hyderabad Traffic Police is also exploring various ways to curb unnecessary honking at junctions, etc. "At present, we have egoistic cameras that record the sound waves and take pictures of vehicles that are honking unnecessarily i.e. when there is no vehicles front and behind them, etc. Our officers also will soon impose fine those who press horn unnecessarily," Ranganath said. "We are further looking for AI and more advanced technologies that will accurately be able to identify whether or not a person is honking unnecessarily," he said.

Issue of High Beam Lights

"There are a lot of vehicles that are modifying their light brightness. Again, increasing the brightness of a light is against the rules," Ranganath explained. He said that further research will be done and action will be taken to curb this.

He explained that when a vehicle with high beam lights is coming from the other end, it causes irritation. "A lot of accidents have also occurred because of the same," he said.

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