A campaign by Mumbai Police to curb noise pollution on city streets roared loudest at Cannes 2021


Mumbai traffic police unveiled an innovative & quirky campaign in response to the impatient drivers who never stop honking even when the signal is red, causing excessive noise pollution on the city’s streets.

FCB Interface’s “Punishing Signal” marketing campaign uses unique decibel metres marked with traffic signals throughout the city.

When the decibel level hits a threshold of 85dB, the sign times may reset themselves, causing people to stay longer on the signal. This effectively is to ‘punish’ the impatient honkers, warning that they may need to stay by longer if they blare more.

The initiative’s main focus was on critical intersections in Mumbai, including CSMT, Marine Drive, Peddar Road, Hindmata, and Bandra, which are particularly vulnerable to traffic congestion.

Befuddled Mumbaikars who honk their horns, hesitate, and blare again will reflect how honking isn’t always the best option.

Madhukar Pandey, joint commissioner of police (Traffic) at the Mumbai Police, said, “Honking is a bad habit and an act of traffic indiscipline. Unfortunately, many Mumbaikars indulge in reckless honking. Honking causes noise pollution, hurts the eardrums, increases heart rate, creates traffic confusion and causes stress.”

Reckless honking is a danger that everyone is aware of, yet it isn’t easy to prevent. This modest exercise is one of the Mumbai Police Department’s many endeavours to improve road safety in the city. It is hoped that this will inspire Mumbaikars to honk less, resulting in a more peaceful and stress-free commute.

The “Punishing Signal” campaign became popular not only in India but the rest of the world. Celebrities, from Sachin Tendulkar to Casie Neistat, shared the video on their Twitter handles. The “Punishing Signal” received five Lions on the first day of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2021, including the gold Lion, and became one of the most awarded campaigns.

So, unnecessarily horn, not-okay!


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