Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Unreasonable noise from bikes and taxis

Published:Friday | January 14, 2022 | 12:05 AM


Those of us road users who have been silently suffering, not only from navigating age-old potholes, but from the noise blasting from the horns of taxis and mufflers of bikes, have had enough!

I invite the traffic cops and the newly appointed minister of transport to have a look at Section 43 of the Road Traffic Act. Subsection 2 distinctly prohibits “unreasonable noise” from the blowing of horns and noise from modified bike mufflers.

My contribution on Twitter attracted several comments from fellow sufferers of the noise epidemic on our roads. Some of us complain of being unable to rest in peace and quiet in our homes, because of the motorbikes and their mufflers, as they pass on nearby roads.

The annoyance is both on and off the roads, as these bikers also penetrate traffic in disobedience of the rules of the road, in addition to the frightening and unlawful noise coming from their mufflers.

It seems as though some of these mufflers have been modified to imitate the sound of gunfire, adding to the terrible fright they cause. The proliferation of bike presence on the roads seems to be, in part, as a result of the COVID-related increase in delivery activity to which businesses have resorted.

The manufacturers sell these bikes with rather quiet mufflers, as they are required by acceptable standards to do. It is, therefore, the deliberate interference with these mufflers by their owners that turns them into a noise nuisance on the roads.

And, as if the noise from bikers is not enough to raise our blood pressure, the unnecessary use of horns by taxis, in the main, is another common breach of the law on our roads. They, too, have modified their horns to sound like the horns of huge trucks, and even of trains.

They are constantly seeking the attention of pedestrians, and annoyingly sounding them off the instant our traffic lights switch to green. Their horrible driving habits will be the subject of another writing on my part.

We ask that the commissioner of police employ a zero-tolerance approach to these awful and annoying habits, and apply the teeth of Section 43 (2) of the Road Traffic Act so that we may travel and sleep in peace.