While Indian truck drivers urge others to honk, with their 'Horn OK Please' message at the back of their trucks, honking is usually considered ill mannered, although most Indians choose not to consider that. However, not all kinds of honking is bad, especially on a blind turn. In a quest to improve safety on highways, HP Lubricants and Leo Burnett India have come together to develop a system that involves roads that would honk. The first prototype of the system is currently being tested on NH1, the highway connecting Jammu and Srinagar, which is known for being one of the most dangerous roads in the world.
The system uses SmartLife poles just before sharp turns and hairpin bends. These poles wirelessly communicate with each other, and exchange data on incoming traffic. They gauge the speed of the vehicles and alert the drivers of approaching traffic by sounding a horn.
The number of accidents significantly reduced after installation of the SmartLife poles, according to local police. The companies are observing the system and plan to install it at other locations across the country in near future.
India ranks high in the list of countries with the largest number of road fatalities, especially driving conditions in mountain roads are very risky as there are no traffic rules followed. According to reports published by the government, more than 140,000 people were killed in road accidents in 2015.
Automakers are constantly working on making their vehicles safer for the occupants and pedestrians, SmartLife poles may be one step forwards towards safer roads. When all is said and done, a very important factor that would help in improving roads in India is by educating road users of rules, that have been placed for the safety of themselves and others.