Assistant Inspector of Police (ASI) Tulamani Acharya stops a bus plying on the Koshi Highway at Dhat, Biratnagar and greets the driver with a Namaste. The driver, used to being shouted at by traffic police officers, is surprised. Acharya then requests the driver to desist from using pressure horns from now. The driver reciprocates the greeting, acknowledges the request, and drives off.
Likewise, ASI Kishor Niraula stops a honking truck at Virat Chowk of Morang on the East-West Highway. Niraula also greets the scared-looking driver with a Namaste and makes the same request. Niraula was informing all the drivers of vehicles on the road-section in the same way.
ASI Dhamendra Rajbanshi was similarly informing drivers on the Biratnagar-Rangeli road section at Karsia in Morang of the rule that bars the use horns except during emergencies. Putting his hands together, Rajbanshi also politely warns that in the future, strict action will be taken against those who break the rules. The drivers in turn commit not to honk.
Traffic police personnel deployed across all 92 units of Province 1 are busy on the roads, spreading awareness against honking, with their stern but gentle warnings.
Previously punished with fines and reproach, the drivers are surprised at this gentler approach of the traffic police. Pankaj Sah, a driver, says he is impressed. “We were scared every time a traffic cop stopped us. We feared we had unknowingly violated some rule and would now be slapped with heavy fines,” Sah says. “But now they’re stopping us only to give us warning. This is good. Everyone has to abide by the rules.” Sah finds the traffic police’s changed behavior and new approach persuasive.
As noise pollution has increased in the region, the traffic police recently launched a special campaign aimed at making the province a completely horn-free zone.
Chandra Bahadur Khadka, Chief Inspector of Morang Traffic Police, also urges drivers to stay within the limits set by traffic rules. The traffic police are using placards and one-minute stops to raise awareness. Non-compliance to rules will result in disciplinary action, Khadka informs.
Province Traffic Police Chief SP Sanjeev Sharma informs that the special campaign to control noise pollution will ban the use of pressure horns in all 14 districts of the province.
Horning was already banned in the province but the ban was not informed during the lockdown as there were hardly any vehicle out on the street at the time. But now the province is in a mood to strictly enforce the ban.
According to the Vehicle and Transport Management Act, a driver violating the ‘no horn’ rule can be fined between Rs 500 and Rs 1,500. SP Sharma informs that the rule will be deemed to have been violated if the driver honks under the pretext of overtaking, signaling, asking for lane change, and crossing intersections.