The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway recently announced that some new services will be introduced by the end of the year, including "mute cars".
The official website has not given details, except that passengers could opt for a "mute car" where silence will be maintained, while booking tickets.
On social networking sites, many users have said that a "mute car" is the perfect antidote to "naughty kids", and shared how some noisy kids had made their train journeys hell. Some have suggested that like "mute cars", there should also be "mute trains".
However, we must ponder on whether kids are the only source of noise in trains. Don't many grownup passengers create as much noise by either talking loudly on their phones or turning on the music for everyone to hear when they could have just plugged in their earphones? Not to mention those who talk loudly while sitting right next to each other.
Definitely, there are noisy kids, but some of the adults are equally responsible for the noise in trains. Therefore, it is wrong to say that "mute cars" are being introduced because of noisy kids.
Also, the authorities should make clear what they mean by "mute cars". Does it require passengers to keep their phones in silent mode? Do passengers have to move to another car to answer the phone? What if someone's job requires that he/she make umpteen calls? Is there a decibel limit?
The authorities must clarify all of the above questions and also what kind of noise is forbidden and when a noise-maker can be asked to leave the car.
Also, noisy passengers in other cars should not be overlooked after the introduction of "mute cars". Action should be taken against anyone turning on music loudly. The authorities cannot refuse to act against them saying they were not in a "mute car".