x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Cut that horn, we're trying to sleep

People living near one of Dubai's busiest bus terminals say they have had enough of being woken up every morning by drivers blasting their horns to greet one another.

DUBAI // People living near one of the city's busiest bus terminals say they have had enough of being woken up every morning by drivers blasting their horns to greet one another. They say that, in addition to a cacophony of car and taxi horns in the area around Rashidiya Bus Terminus, bus drivers are making the problem worse.

"From around 5.45 each morning until about midnight every night, I am disturbed continuously by bus drivers tooting their horns to acknowledge one another's arrival," said Fraser Martin, 54, a British motoring consultant. "I have pointed out that this is not only a nuisance in terms of sleep disturbance, but is also an offence under the Road Traffic Act, where it is clearly stated that the horn on a motor vehicle is a device to warn others, not a device of communication between drivers."

Mr Martin said he had approached the Roads and Transport Authority about the problem and was told to be patient. No one from the authority could be reached for comment yesterday. Another resident, Mohammed Asfraq, from Pakistan, said the problem only started recently. "It started a few months ago and is most obvious in the mornings when I am sleeping," he said. "I think there should be something done about it."

A bus driver at the terminal, who did not want to be named, said he never blasted his horn to greet or acknowledge his colleagues. He said he used it only to encourage other bus drivers queuing in front of him at the depot to move their vehicles out of the way. The Rashidiya depot was formerly located where the Metro station now stands. It was moved up the street, next to Rashidiya Park. It is not the only locale where residents say their slumber is disturbed by the blaring of vehicle horns.

Frank Alvez, a Filipino office clerk, 32, who lives in Bur Dubai, said beeping horns near his home had always been a nuisance. "I don't know if they are buses, taxis or cars, but always at night time when I am trying to sleep, I am woken up," he said. "I don't know if there are any fines or if it is even illegal, but something should be done about it in the city centre, especially where there are a lot of apartments."

According to federal law, a vehicle's horn must not be used inside city limits except in extreme cases, to warn of an approaching vehicle or of other dangers. Breaking the law carries a Dh200 fine. eharnan@thenational.ae