Muscat: Drivers honking in the vicinity of restaurants and the whizzing motor bikes making jarring sounds near residential areas late in the night in certain parts of the city are disturbing the peace as well as becoming a cause of concern for the police recently.
Talking to the Times of Oman, an official of the Royal Oman Police confirmed that they have been consistently receiving complaints from residents in some city areas about drivers honking and motor bikes whizzing past, spoiling the much sought after peace of residents.
Though no information was available about the number of such complaints registered with the police and the action taken in this regard, the ROP and the Directorate-General of Traffic have confirmed that those violating the civic norms would not be let off the hook.
In some areas, the ROP responded to such complaints and took action against those creating trouble by unnecessarily honking from their cars or making unnecessary noise with their vehicle engines, particularly in the residential areas. The culprits were caught and let off after necessary action, said the official.
Mazin, a waiter in a restaurant in Ghubra, said that the restaurant where he worked was one of the most popular in the area. "Customers come to us every day in large numbers and most of them are interested in ordering take-away food. They do not step out of their vehicles to place their orders. Instead, they honk until somebody attends to them," he said.
"Despite our frequent advice that they should use their dipper lights instead of blowing horns, most of them do not adhere to civic norms. We can't force them as they are our customers. Many residents in the nearby apartments have complained against it. But we are helpless as this has become a culture," said Mazin.
Abdullah, a Bangladeshi national who works in a coffee shop in the Qurum area, said that some of the residents near his coffee shop have also complained to the police. "The police have started keeping a watch on those indulging in such practice so that there is no problem near my coffee shop. Those who visit us regularly and know about the issue, use their vehicles' lights to call us. But those who are new to the area still do this. They have also been warned against the practice," he said.
Sumith, an Indian who works in a coffee shop at a business district in Ruwi, said: "The owner of the shop where I work has asked us to warn the customers against honking every time they visit, but who listens to us? They come and do whatever they want and ignore our advice."
"The business district of Ruwi, generally known as MBD or CBD areas, is a mix of residential and office complexes. Most of the complaints come from residents as they are really disturbed during night," he said.
The complaints are not just coming from residents living near the coffee shops and restaurants. There are many who tell another story.
"On weekends, there would be noise of whizzing vehicles nearby. Initially, we thought this is due to the speed of vehicles. But when we see from our windows, we find that the vehicles, even when they stop at the intersection due to a red light, make such loud noise due to over acceleration of the engine," said Shaheen, who lives in the MBD area.
Honking for fun
"I am sure many people do use the accelerators of their cars or honk just for fun. But this is disturbing for residents. When I rushed down to note down someone's number plate to lodge a complaint, the car was not there," he said.
Samuel Mathew, a resident of Ghubra, said that young riders of small motor bikes also create a lot of chaotic noises.
"Four or five motor bikes come in groups in Ghubra. They are all youth having fun on the streets and creating a lot of noise. I have heard that the government has banned import of such under 70CC motor bikes
. But they are still on the streets, particularly in Ghubra, and disturb the residents living in roadside apartments. Such motor bikes do not even have number plates," he said.
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