200 RMB fines have gone a long way in making our streets quieter, but it looks like years of blasting the pipes have left drivers with itchy palms. Shanghai Daily is reporting that in an effort to circumvent the recent ban on horn-honking, some drivers have turned to customizing their horns to make different sounds when pressed.
An inventive cabby who drives for the Qiangsheng taxi fleet showed off his new honk to a Shanghai Daily reporter yesterday. When he depresses the horn button a woman’s voice says, “Please mind the car; we are making a turn.”
“A couple of days ago, I sounded my new horn near a traffic police officer,” the cabby said. “He seemed amazed at first, then he gave me a warning gesture and helpless smile and let me pass.”
Does this mean our streets will soon be filled with wonderful crooning from the likes of Jay Chou and, for the older set, Teresa Teng? Probably not, as the article quotes Sun Guofu, who works for the city traffic police, as saying: “The new rule prohibits any kind of horn blaring no matter what it sounds like.”
Sun Guofu strikes us as a humorless old fart. We would love to have our taxi drivers part traffic by blaring out random declarations and current Top 40 pop music. Now if they only made musical jackhammers, everyone in our neighborhood would be bopping their heads.
Photo by Shanghai.Dennis found via the Shanghaiist Contribute page