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Cops to check highway blares

Gangtok, Nov. 18: The cacophony of horns during the rush hours in this hill town has seen a dramatic decrease thanks to a sustained campaign by traffic police, the department has claimed.

From November 1, the Gangtok traffic police have involved various taxi and government drivers’ associations in town to sensitise the people at the wheels and appeal to them to refrain from honking unnecessarily on the stretch of NH31A that passes through the town.

The drive also aims to contain high beams and indicators that are often used by the drivers along the highway.

With several local organisations participating in the mass campaign, today around 15 journalists stood at various intersections from Lal Bazaar to Ranka taxi stand carrying placards with an appeal to reduce the noise on the roads.

The programme has been successful with a good response from the people, claimed traffic officials.

The campaign has been focusing on the zone between Amdo Golai and Zero Point on the highway.

The 5km-stretch has six major intersections.

“We have observed that around 1,500-1,800 vehicles move in this area in an hour during the peak hours,” said Arjun Tamang, a traffic police inspector.

“Road abuses like unnecessary or deliberate honking and improper use of high beams have dropped down by 80 per cent here after the campaign,” he said.

Around 70 traffic police personnel led by the deputy superintendent of police Dhiren Lama, along with three traffic inspectors man the stretch of NH31A that passes through the hill town and the arterial roads.

“Less honking has also been observed in the no-horn zone from Mintokgang to Zero point and from Zero Point to Ranka taxi stand,” said Tamang.

Several traffic policemen at different crossings in the town can be seen with placards carrying messages on the misuse or deliberate use of horns, high beams in busy areas, that can blind a driver coming from opposite direction, and unauthorised parking of vehicles.

“Misuse of horn is particularly an irritant for residents along NH31A, patients in hospitals and school students,” said Tamang.

He added that objective of the campaign is to reduce the discomfort.

The drive stems from the belief of the authorities that the traffic police alone cannot contain road rule abuses unless the local people are also involved and drivers show self-discipline.

The traffic police have requested all stakeholders to inculcate the habit of road discipline and obey traffic rules so that the capital can set an example for the rest of the state.

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