RTO to penalise motorists for noise pollution; drive on till November 30

If you are one of those who drive other road users round the bend by incessant honking, be prepared to be slapped with a hefty fine throughout this month.

In an effort to reduce rising noise levels in the city, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) has launched a drive against those who honk excessively. RTO Joint Commissioner (Enforcement) H.G Kumar said the RTO is fining and booking errant motorists for both air and noise pollution.

“Many two-wheelers use horns meant to be used only by four-wheelers. Also, many vehicles, especially autorickshaws, generate tremendous amount of noise as they tamper with the silencers,” said Mr. Kumar. Those guilty of not bothering to contain thick exhaust fumes will also be fined.

The fine for two-wheelers is Rs. 300, four-wheelers Rs. 600, and heavy vehicles Rs. 900.

“Thirty officials, including 20 from other districts, have been deployed to apprehend violators. The squads will operate in 10 areas such as Jayanagar, Yeshwantpur, Electronics City and so on,” Mr. Kumar said.

The RTO is nabbing an average of 1,000 violators a day ever since the drive was launched on November 6. It concludes on November 30.

Meanwhile, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) too launched a ‘No Horn Monday’ campaign to curb noise pollution.

The KSPCB campaign is being carried out in association with Bangalore City Traffic Police, car dealers Pratham Motors, and the Koramangala Residents’ Welfare Association.

Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, KSPCB chairperson Vaman Acharya said the maximum permissible level of sound in residential areas is 55 decibels and 65 in commercial areas. “According to the law, honking is not allowed at night time between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.,” said Mr. Acharya, adding that the electronic device set off by reverse gear in vehicles has to be switched off between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

He welcomed the RTO’s efforts to curb noise pollution in penalising those who horn excessively, in residential areas, traffic signals and in the 500-metre stretch in and around the silent zones like hospitals, schools and courts.

Sunday relief

Koramangala Residents’ Welfare Association general secretary Nitin Sheshadri said that Koramangala was one of the noisiest areas in the city, with levels in the residential areas averaging a whopping 90 decibels. The noise pollution comes down to permissible levels only on Sundays. Pratham Motors CEO Samar Vikram Bhasin hoped that the campaign is taken up elsewhere in the city