Nigerian motorists back Lagos car horn-free day

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Media captionTomi Olapido reports from Lagos on the city's horn-free day

Many motorists used their horns sparingly in Nigeria's main city, Lagos, on Wednesday to show support for a "horn-free day", a BBC reporter says.

The initiative was launched by the state government to reduce noise pollution and promote road courtesy.

Lagos is sub-Saharan Africa's biggest city and has a reputation of being chaotic and vibrant.

Other mega cities like Mumbai have organised horn-free days in the past to reduce deafening noise levels.

It was the first such initiative in Lagos, which has a population of between 17 million and 21 million.

'Lagos soundtrack'

Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola said car horn-free day had been launched after many complaints from residents about noise pollution.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Lagos is notorious for its traffic jams

"It is for our own good. It it is for our own health. It is for our own life," he is quoted by Nigeria's The Guardian newspaper as saying.

The BBC's Tomi Olaidipo in Lagos says there is no doubt that noise levels have been significantly lower in the city, but at one point he still heard 10 to 15 horns in a minute.

A 35-year-old commercial driver, Lateef Adebayo, said he doubted that motorists would use their horns less come Thursday, AFP news agency reports.

"If the intention is to reduce the noise, it's good. But after today, I don't see people complying with the policy," he is quoted as saying.

Our correspondent says many motorists use their horns either out of impatience or to avoid accidents as other vehicles stop abruptly or change lanes without indicating.

The constant "peep-peep" of the car horn is the soundtrack to Lagos life, AFP reports.

Cars, battered minibuses, motorcycle taxis and lorries all use the horn as punctuation before, during and after every manoeuvre - and when stuck in the city's notorious traffic jams, it adds.

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