Honking at a traffic light won’t make the traffic flow quicker, but most of us feel compelled to do it anyway. It makes us feel like we’re being proactive, doing something about the situation. It’s not helping, but at least it can’t possibly make the traffic worse. Well, it turns out that it can. In Mumbai, police have introduced noise-sensitive traffic lights in an effort to cut noise pollution. If cars honk too loudly, the light will remain red for longer.
The system relies on decibel meters connected to traffic light poles, which register the noise level of the area. If the meters register noise 85 decibels or higher, the lights will reset and stay red for longer. Thanks to traffic lights that display countdown timers, honking drivers can actually see how many seconds they’re being penalized in real time.
The lights have already been installed on a trial basis at a few junctions in Mumbai, with more locations slated to be added if the system proves effective.
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) January 31, 2020
A humorous video posted on Twitter by the Mumbai Police shows the system in action. The video dubbs the new traffic light as “The Punishing Signal,” with police inviting motorists to “Feel free to honk — if you don’t mind waiting.”