Indian Drivers -- horns

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If you can't access the article -- pm me and i will send a PDF.

In India, a Quixotic Fight Against Car Honks -

NEW DELHI—One recent morning, Ravi Kalra jumped in front of an approaching van on a busy Delhi road.

As the van slowed down, a young woman hurried after it, whipped out a "Do Not Honk!" sticker and slapped it on its bumper.

"Be careful while pasting the sticker," Mr. Kalra cautioned. "Make sure it's not crooked."

In a matter of seconds, a gaggle of anti-honking crusaders, led by Mr. Kalra, surrounded the puzzled driver, to brief him on the do's and don'ts of honking. A big no-no? To hit the horn in frustration at a red light—something that happens all the time in the Indian capital.

"Here people blow the horn for no reason. It's like a sickness," says Mr. Kalra, who quit his job as a martial-arts trainer with Delhi's police to start a nongovernmental organization that, among other things, campaigns against honking.

Persuading Indians to stop tooting is an ambitious mission: Everyone is at it night and day—from drivers of the motorized three-wheelers called auto-rickshaws to chauffeurs of the city's ultrarich.

Motorcycles beep nonstop as they zigzag their way through Delhi's chaotic traffic. "They are the worst," says Mr. Kalra, 44 years old, who says he hasn't honked a single time since he first started driving, 25 years ago.

On roads where drivers pass on the inside lane, rarely using turn signals, even those who are opposed to honking find it hard to do without it.
"Sounds" like Mexico City. Once while passing through Mexico City, transferring form train to bus, I had a similar experience. The pollution level was so high that all factories were on mandatory shutdown, but millions of belching VW Beetles swarmed the streets, beeping and swerving. They had pay oxygen booths along the sidewalks where one could buy a breath of fresh air if needed... Just reading the article, imagining myself in the crowded, noxious, beep filled streets of Delhi I become light headed.
Speaking on behalf of recovering Indian bikers - they wont be honking if pedestrians and other random things like cats, dogs, cows etc etc wont wander into the roads without warning.

It is annoying, but there is a reason ... and after a few years, its a habit, and a hard one to break.

If you don't do it for the pedestrians, your missing heart beat will kill you much sooner. Better do it. I don't guarantee that one time horn will work. It has never worked for me so keep repeating.

Most pedestrians will ask a question to the driver, can't you see(and he will be walking in the middle of the road).

Gajanan Phadte

Edit: Today while going to work, two ladies were talking standing on the narrow road. I horned once, nothing happened so I went and stopped close by... long story in short
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The stop-light thing is amazing to see. In Bangalore I saw traffic stopped at a red light. There were two lanes, so 3 cars across with autos and motorbikes in the "gaps", and about 20 rows deep. As soon as the light turned green, before anyone could even select a gear, every driver not in the front row started honking their horns!

I think safety claims are BS. However, I did come to realize that there was a more subtle, nuanced "language" to the beeping than we in North America are accustomed to. Here sounding the horn either is an emergency signal or expression of anger. In India it could mean "Hey, I'm in your blind spot!", or "Excuse me, cutting in here", or "I intend to go the wrong way down this one-way street", or "I'm passing you". And of course "Please speed up and/or get out of my way."

I remember once walking across a street. A woman was driving toward us, and we were facing her. She was about 100 meters away when she started sounding the horn, just in case we were unable to see an automobile at that distance. Before she got to where we crossed, we could have crossed the street 3 times, at a slow saunter, but she sounded her horn for every second of that time. My Indian friends thought it was hilarious when I answered every one of her beeps verbally, with something like "Yes, lady, we can f%&$ing see you, we are not f$#*ing visually impaired, and I heard you the first time!"
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