Page last updated at 13:11 GMT, Monday, 7 April 2008 14:11 UK

Mumbai attempts 'no honking' day

By Karishma Vaswani
BBC News, Mumbai

Mumbai has 1.53 million vehicles
Many say driving in Mumbai without honking is impossible

Drivers in India's Mumbai city are being asked to observe a "No Honking Day" to mark World Health Day.

The initiative, organised by Mumbai's traffic police, is an attempt to educate the city's 1.5 million drivers to be more considerate while driving.

Organisers say drivers using their horn indiscriminately will be punished.

But despite those measures, commuters who were looking for a silent ride would have been disappointed as honking levels were not noticeably reduced.

Many say that is because driving in Mumbai without honking is next to impossible. It is one of the only ways to ensure that drivers do not run over pedestrians, and it helps prevent many accidents.

It is the first time the people of Mumbai are being asked not to honk.

Traffic police have distributed more than 100,000 stickers in English and Hindi in an attempt to raise awareness about "No Honking Day" to Mumbai's car owners, taxi drivers and rickshaw operators.

More than 800 policemen have been deployed along with 2,000 community workers.

India's financial capital has 1.53 million vehicles, a figure that is growing by several hundred vehicles a day.

Fatal road accidents have been on the rise with more than 650 people dying on its roads last year.

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