KOCHI: The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD), which has launched a crackdown on tourist buses flouting norms, has found several buses using illegal air horns.As many as 871 vehicles, including contract carriage buses, inter-state private buses and trucks from other states, have been booked so far this year for using air horns in Ernakulam district. Across the state, 9,090 cases have been registered in connection with the offence. The highest number of cases – 1,946 – has been registered in Thrissur district, while 1,839 cases have been registered in Palakkad against vehicles using the banned horns.
“The number of cases against vehicles using air horns has come down in recent years. However, private tourist buses, inter-state private buses and lorries mostly coming from Tamil Nadu still use air horns,” said Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer (Enforcement) G Ananthakrishnan.
“Private buses, which were the biggest offenders earlier, removed the horns when the crackdown began. Other vehicles still use them though. Though most cases have been registered against contract carriage buses, they continue to use the air horns,” he said.
Trucks mostly coming from Tamil Nadu are also found using air horns.“With the introduction of GST, border checkposts have been removed and lorries from Tamil Nadu using banned air horns are entering the state. Use of banned air horns is normal in the neighbouring state. Authorities in Tamil Nadu should take action against such trucks,” he said.
ENT surgeon Vinod B Nair said two-wheeler users and pedestrians are the biggest victims of air horn use. “Sound pollution is a major issue in Ernakulam district, especially within the city limits. Use of air horns leads to hearing impairment. Honking also stresses a person. In most case, people who honk are clueless about the damage they are causing. Only good traffic etiquette can bring down the use of air horns and honking,” he said.
Horns that produce sound greater than 95 decibels are illegal. Cases for the offence are registered under Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act which attracts a fine of Rs 2,000 in fine. For repeat offences, the fine increases to Rs 4,000.