India could be having the answer to road peace, and South Africa can surely benefit if they succeed.
The country that brought us yoga, chess and buttons aims to get rid of those irritating car hooters by replacing them with the sweet and soothing sounds of the sitar.
Indian transport minister Nitin Gadkari says: “I am studying this and soon planning to make a law that the horns of all vehicles should be in Indian musical instruments so that it is pleasant to hear.”
Instead the hooters could blast the flute, tabla, violin, mouth organ or harmonium, he added.
Gadkari also said he wanted to replace the “irritating” sirens used by ambulances and police vehicles with soothing tunes, reports AFP.
India is home to some of the noisiest cities in the world as vehicles jostle for space on its clogged roads.
The horn is deemed almost as important as the gas pedal – and more so than side mirrors – and is used by drivers more to alert other road-users to their presence rather than to rebuke and warn.
The World Health Organisation says noise pollution can cause hearing loss and heart problems, as well as stress and depression.
We can only hope that South Africa, with its thousands of taxis on the road always blasting their hooters to attract passengers, follows suit and soon “Mowbray, Kaap” can be replaced with the lekker sounds of “Welcome to Cape Town.”