A behavioural design initiative by Briefcase. Endorsed by WIAA.
Honking in India is used in many instances other than alerting other drivers to a dangerous situation. We people in India honk out of frustration, impatience, nervousness, irritation and reasons other than safety. Honking has become embedded in Indian driving etiquette. This is making noise levels in Indian cities go way beyond the permissible limits. As a consequence, people face a rapidly growing problem with many side effects of noise pollution - increased hyper-tension and blood pressure, increased risk of heart attacks and disturbed sleep patterns.
Say partners of Briefcase "Honking like other behaviour, over time, has become a habit. Habits are essentially automatic behaviour where one does not consciously think about the action, but rather, the decision-making happens automatically. So we realized that it was important to shift the driver from an automatic mode of honking as a habit, to deliberate on whether the situation really demanded that he/she honk."
This approach led them to create Bleep - Horn Reduction System that reduced honking amongst every participant of their experiment by an average of 61%. To read more about the experiment click here - www.brief-case.co/bleep.html
Bleep is a device with a simple red button fitted in an easily accessible place on the dashboard of a car. The red button has a frown sketched on it and when the driver presses the horn, the red button begins to beep and flash. In order to switch the device off, the driver needs to press the red button.
Bleep assists the driver in reducing honking by using a visual-cum-sound reminder. The driver gets instant feedback when the red light with the frown beeps and flashes when he honks, making the driver conscious about his inappropriate behaviour of honking. The driver having to physically switch off the reminder further helps in persuading him to honk lesser. The frown on the device is designed to indicate that honking is socially inappropriate behaviour. According to Briefcase, a study called ‘Overcoming Intuition’ done by Alter, Oppenheimer, Epley and Eyre has shown that frowning helps the brain reduce the reliance on intuition and activates analytical reasoning. Another research at the Stanford University School of Medicine showed that peak brain activity (arresting attention) occurred during a short period of silence between musical movements, which is evidence that sounds that have a pause in between make you more alert. That’s why a seatbelt reminder like sound was used in the beeping sound of Bleep.
WIAA endorses the belief that indiscriminate honking is abuse and therefore excessive honking must be bleeped out.