It’s ‘No Horn Day‘ in Lagos, can I hear some Toot! Toot! Beep! Beep!
Everyone now knows that the state government of Lagos is not joking contrary to opinion in some quarters that the campaign may be a hoax, or an expensive joke. The No Horn Day is here, and as few are battling with compliance, the majority of Lagosians have engaged in civil disobedience – ignoring the government’s injunction. Don’t take my word for it, just take a stroll and see if you do not hear car honks blaring. That goes to underline the success of this campaign, but wait, it’s not 10:00am yet, so maybe as the day progresses, the compliance level may increase… That remains to be seen.
I wondered what might have informed the decision of the government to engage in such a doomed campaign (Lagos drivers know that a functional car horn is important to insuring continued existence; as driving in the metropolis is a no holds barred affair), I found that some Asian cities had run the campaign with some level of success and that has prompted our government to follow the trend. So I Googled all the cities that have carried out the campaign, and conspicuously missing from the list (if any) are cities like: Paris, London, New York, and even Johannesburg. So why is Lagos carrying out the campaign? Your guess is as good mine.
It is said, that unnecessary car honking can contribute to the menace of noise pollution thus increasing human stress levels and hypertension among other ills, so, maintaining some level of quiet on the road may actually help mitigate against pollution. It is therefore no wonder that the Lagos state is trying out this campaign to battle noise pollution as the man at the helm of affairs of the government is arguably the only public office holder of import in Nigeria that goes noiselessly on the roads – I know, Governor Fashola’s motorcade has driven by me several times without making a sound. So, our Governor is trying to imbibe the same road ethic he observes in Lagosians.
However, everyone in Lagos and in diaspora knows that this is one campaign that will not be successful in the fight against noise pollution. It is not that the government missed the malaise, I think that they missed the treatment of the malaise, thus today, 15th October, 2014 will be as any other day on the Lagos roads as car owners/drivers will bully other road users and pedestrians out of their way by scaring the daylight out of them through the use of their car horns. As I said before, car horns have been playing their usual orchestra since dawn today and will continue all day. It is my believe that the government could have chosen a better mode of delivery to carry out this campaign.
Think about it, instead of grossly endangering road users lives by compelling them not to use the horns installed in the cars to warn others of impending danger and passage, the government should declare a NO GENERATOR DAY.
Wait, before the stones start flying my way, let me make my case: Epileptic power supply means that one of the first things a person purchases when (s)he moves into a new apartment/house is a power generating set. These machines most times generate power all through the night. Businesses in this our Obodo Lagos cannot hope to run without a power generating set. We all know this. Now, the noise generated by these machines in our homes, offices, and other public places can not be measured against car horns on the road. The generator’s noise is way higher and much more insistent – it runs for hours most times, deafening people in the surroundings.
So, in my humble opinion, and I imagine I am not alone in this assessment, instead of banning car horns for a day, we should have a No Gen Day. Lives would be saner and peace restored throughout the state. What is more, this campaign is actually doable and the level of compliance can be in the 90th percentile.
There. That is my two kobo on the matter. Got better suggestions? Share, let’s discuss this.