Can a frown stop drivers from honking?

By Sree Pramod Pinapati

The incessant honking of car horns on Indian roads has become a symbol of the country and a major contributor to noise pollution

And despite the best efforts of individuals, there is still much work to be done in alleviating the issue of noise pollution across India. Previous campaigns have focused on introducing and enforcing new laws. However, these methods often show limited success as honking has sadly become an ingrained habit. In other words, most people don’t realise that they are honking unnecessarily.

Organisations like the Mumbai-based Awaaz Foundation and Haryana-based “The Earth Saviours Foundation” have been trying to change with their campaigns against noise pollution. The latest initiative is from Anand Damani from Briefcase in collaboration with Mayur Tekchandaney. The two have developed an ingenious solution to curb unnecessary honking from cars.

Their system, known as the “Bleep System” is simply a small red button with a frowny face that can be installed in cars. Every time the user honks, the button emits a beeping noise within the car. To turn the beeping noise off, the driver must press the red button. This simple act makes the driver conscious of their action and helps start a feedback loop. To test the effectiveness of the device, the bleep system was installed in various cars, and over a six month test period, on average there was a 60 per cent reduction in honking.

A wonderful initiative, which one hopes will go the distance in reducing honking.

Cut the noise

The side effects of noise pollution include but are not limited to:
  1. Sleep disturbance
  2. Cognitive Impairment
  3. Cardiovascular disease (Hypertension, elevated blood pressure, ischaemic heart disease)
  4. Tinnitus and other forms of hearing impairment


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