Mumbai Piloting Traffic Lights That Stay Red if They Detect Honking

Photo Credit: Needpix

Police in Mumbai are testing red lights that won’t turn green if drivers honk their horns. It’s a perfect solution for a busy city where noise pollution is one of its biggest problems, right?

Photo Credit: Needpix

Last year, Indian authorities conducted a trial with sensors attached to traffic light poles that detected street decibel levels. If noise levels registered more than 85 decibels, the traffic lights were set to delay turning green.

Mumbai’s lights, like other Indian cities, displays a timer on each light so drivers can see when it will change.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Police spokesman, Pranay Ashok, told CNN, the trial started with a run at several major intersections for 15 minutes a day. Police hope to roll the system out to the “entire traffic management system.”

A (hilarious) video posted to Twitter showed the effects of rampant noise pollution. In it, police describe the city as “the honking capital of the world.” Explaining what they call “The Punishing Signal,” they advise that if motorists want to keep moving, they should stop laying on the horn.


According to the TomTom Index, Mumbai has a serious problem with traffic congestion, ranking the fourth worst in the world last year.

The amount of congestion in the city translates to a loss of eight days and 17 hours per year for every driver and passenger.

It will be interesting to see if these monitored traffic lights make a difference. There are so many more pleasurable activities to do with that time than sit in traffic and listen to angry horns.

Don’t you agree?