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Monday, February 23, 2009

Mean Machines - Literally!

I wish the next-generation vehicles come with a pre-programmable honking horns. Key in the total number of kilometres to be travelled in the horn system, and the upper limit for horns is generated - 5-6 sounds like a decent number for 10 kilometres. After that, the system does not produce any noise - till the stipulated distance is done with.
Of course, this can be different for public and private transport systems. Autos should have the minimum limit - remove the pressing contraption I say, and replace them with this amazing electronic system.

Thinking of it makes me drool, because, armed with a mother-of-all-headaches, I had to travel by bus today. The driver was comparitively subdued - 22 honks in 10 kms. Yes, I counted.

I don't get it. Do buses/autos think they are silent machines? Like oiled shock absorbing Skodas and BMWs? One Swoosh of the wind and they are done!? These rickety contraptions make enough noise to shake up houses in their war-path and pedestrians or other vehicles long before they are in view- why the horns - especially these musical 10 honks in 5 seconds, or one long 15 seconds horn?

Our problem is not the traffic, for almost every city in the world has more cars than they can handle. Our problem is the freedom to horn and plunge one's way through cycle-gaps. Remove the capacity to horn, and reduce erratic travelling.


antbrain said...

Hey cool post! I hope this wish turns into a reality soon! Will have to share this wish with some crazy Japanese scientists who can come with this robot! (daily naan phone la padara kashtam ennoda pogattum ;))

Kunal Chandra said...

Very good idea!!! Although I am a culprit too but in my opinion in India we blow horns not to ask for side so much as to make sure that the person knows that we are there and wont do any funny acrobatics on the road. At least thats why I blow horns. Also it allows me to avoid many roadrages. But it will be nice if the serenity of a beautiful drive/ride to office is not so rudely disrupted.

Anonymous said...

In US, people honk only when the preceding driver does some mistake say a lane cross, under speed etc. Here ppl honk for everything, if they are listening to rang de basanti songs, they will honk for its beats and even listening to radio while driving make them honk.
Hope people change

Anonymous said...

I remember, as a new driver, in the US, I honked and was shown the finger by the lady in front of my car. Honking = giving gaali, period, unless the person has done a mistake or slept off etc. Each city and country has its charms and I am missing the horn noise sitting here. I love your idea but when I drive in India whenever, at least for the first 1 or 2 months, I am going to honk to my heart, hands and ears' content ;-)

Trivial Encounters said...

ah well! In this country,I sometimes wish cars had a rear horn.. kind of a "shut up" for people who honk their way to glory when you are trying to actually follow the rule adhered to an "Yield" sign.

Archana said...

Ash - Amen! Your patience is well appreciated!

Kunal & Jiju - Guess honking is not as bad for the riders as it is for the pillion and bus travellers.I have been that almost all my life. The few hours of peaceful travelling in the morning is my personal bliss - I hate it when its disrupted by honking every few minutes.

Nits - This must be your first comment on my blog! 'In this country' is India or US?

Kamban said...

Do you know why the honkers honk? Because they can! I think it's a much bigger issue than just being inconsiderate. Most (let's say over 90%) don't know the traffic rules here. The driver's license doesn't mean much. And worse, people have their own understanding of the rules, like:
1. Someone overtaking from opposite direction thinks he has right of way from me, who is only driving in my lane. What am I supposed to do? Pull over from the road?
2. You can go around the corners at high speed provided you honk as loud as you can.

Don't expect things to change for a long time.