Honk More, Wait More: Mumbai Police Found a Way to Extend Red Lights when Drivers Honk

Did you know that Mumbai is often called the honking capital of the world because drivers routinely honk while waiting for the traffic light to go green?

But, the Indian police has apparently found an ingenious way to reduce the excessive noise pollution by prolonging the wait to green if the drivers keep on honking.

The police of Mumbai conducted a trial in November and December, 2019 and placed decibel meters to the traffic light poles.

When the meters registered higher noise than 85 decibels, the lights reset and the red light was on for longer.  

A spokesman for the police, Pranay Ashok said that the experiment happened at several vital junctions for 15 minutes per day.

They hope that this concept will spread to the whole traffic system.

Mumbai Police Finds a Way to Tackle Noise Pollution from Excessive Honking

The Mumbai Police shared a video about the experiment on Twitter and Ashok notes that it shows the bad effects of the noise pollution. The video was viewed 3 million times.

The video explains that the authorities were eager to do something about the honking.

The police described their creation as the punishing signal and warned the motorist that ‘they can honk if they don’t mind waiting’.

According to the TomTom Traffic Index that ranks cities according to congestion, Mumbai is the world’s 4th most congested city in 2019.

Moreover, the index estimated that the Mumbai drivers last year lost 8 days and 17 hours in traffic.

Why Do Indian Drivers Honk so Much?

In India, there’s a universal truth- you honk your horn loud enough and the traffic lights will ‘surely’ change to green.

Mumbai traffic police commissioner Madhukar Pandey notes that sadly, a lot of Mumbaikars honk recklessly and this isn’t just contributing to noise pollution, but it also damages our eardrums, elevates the heart rate, triggers stress, and adds to the traffic chaos.

Pandey further explains that although citizens are aware of this, they do little to prevent it.

Hopefully, the police’s initiative will help improve the discipline on their roads and minimize the honking so that people can use the Mumbai roads free of noise and stress.

The idea has already been widely accepted and they’re even talking of spreading it to other Indian cities, which are also known for bad traffic.

For example, Bangalore was recently named as the most congested city in the world where the drivers spend an average of 10 days in traffic.