No honking, No possibility
Living in Kathmandu has always been chaotic. Driving on over studded dusty road often full of potholes, buzzing street market and strays cows and dog often sharing the road makes going around the valley often a challenge. But add it to relenting noise from blowing horns and it is enough to make a sane person go crazy.
With ever increasing traffic and immigrants, the average level of noise pollution must have exceeded the permissible limits. However, very few initiation have been taken to bring it under control. Hence, the step taken by Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Metropolitan Traffic Police Department to make Kathmandu a horn-free zone must be applauded.
The valley dwellers were compelled to get exposed to a high frequency of noises making them more stressed and angry. During the peak hours, it would be difficult to find the calm vehicle driver. One can always hear the irritated voice of the driver and one can especially feel it when you are a regular user of public transportation in the capital. Blowing and honking horn in Kathmandu has become a regular practice and one does not need a substantial reason. The horns are blown as a means of communication between two drivers and often it has been practiced for eve teasing.
While no horn initiation policy is getting praised, but at present scenario, there is no possibility of implementing it. The fact of matter is that there are no good roads and most importantly no pedestrian rules. The people walk everywhere on the road and do not get out of the way unless horn is blown to make them aware. Before implementing this rules, there were signboards kept in front of schools, hospitals, and other sensitive areas to prohibit honking but it was just a vain practice.
While pedestrians of the valley are not aware of traffic rules, avoiding honking is not possible. There are people talking over the phone while crossing roads, people using headphone in a busy street and most importantly a group of people joking and fooling around the street – honking is only a possible action to make them aware.
The rule no blowing horn is a right act in wrong place. The rule would be feasible to implement if we had all the road infrastructure. When we do not have even traffic lights on major crossing then honking would be a must to avoid accidents.
Edited By – Sushil Awale