Don't Drive Noisy: Shanghai Authorities To Expand Ban On Horn Honking

Me so horny? Not in Shanghai! Visitors and local commuters may not have known it but Shanghai's 99 km (62 mi) S20 Outer Ring Expressway, has been honk free (or else) for over 6 years. Presumably the road was a notorious source of noise pollution and the logical location to initiate efforts to instill relative peace and quiet – OK, quiet at least – to the booming metropolis' mean streets.

Is it working? It must be: at a recent forum on traffic development strategies, city authorities approved plans to expand the “no honking” zone in their ongoing effort to reduce noise pollution. While the authorities' intentions may well be honorable, some have hinted the program smacks of a successful cash-grab since violators of the ban are subject to a 100 yuan (US$16.33) fine per infraction.

While fingering traffic scofflaws through the use of red light cameras has proven to be both workable and lucrative, one wonders how the seemingly impossible chore of pinpointing overly, er, horny drivers can be implemented. It may be that the threat of being fined might in itself help reduce instances of honking while helping to condition drivers to avoid leaning on their horns.

The next step toward expanding Shanghai's no-honking zone is to determine what other areas are in need of the ban. To this end, authorities have ordered noise detectors installed at major traffic junctions, elevated highways, and along roads near railways, subway lines and airports. Once data collected by the noise detectors is analyzed, precise bylaw enforcement areas will be delineated and appropriate signage will be posted. (via Shanghai Daily and China Mike)