It’s a very common thing in India that we all are aware of and have seen this phrase “Horn OK Please” on roads almost every time when you see a truck, which is painted behind it. But have you ever wondered the reason behind this?
Interestingly, this particular practice has an exciting history behind it, if we are to believe any of the theories that have come to light in the recent years.
We are not aware of the exact reason of ‘Horn Ok Please’ painted behind all the trucks but all we can do is predict a few reasons behind this famous truck paint.
Here are 5 possible reasons why Horn Ok Please is painted on the back of trucks:
1. A safety measure to signal for those who are trying to overtake the truck about oncoming traffic.
In olden days, most highways had single lanes earlier, so there was always a risk of running into oncoming traffic, especially when you’re behind a truck. The ‘OK’ had a bulb right over it.
So, when you honk, the truck driver takes this as ‘OK’ and check if there is any oncoming traffic. If there isn’t any vehicle, he would light the bulb and you are okay to overtake.
This practice just ebbed away with time, multi-lane highways & well-lit roads. But the phrase is still painted on trucks as though it was tradition.
2. A warning signal during World War II as trucks running ‘On Kerosene’ were inflammable.
It is said that kerosene trucks were used by troops as conveyance during the Second World War. The ‘OK’ meant ‘On Kerosene’ and was issued as a warning for those behind the trucks because the slightest of accidents would cause the trucks to explode.
3. OK was actually a detergent launched by the Tata Oil Mills Ltd. Co (TOMCO) where they used trucks as a medium to promote their product.
4.‘OK’ is actually separate from Horn and Please, and is painted in big bold letters to indicate a safe distance.
It is said it is printed behind the trucks to maintain safe distance. If you can read OK from your vehicle, you are at a safe distance and if you aren’t able to read, you are closer to the truck.
5. It was actually meant to be Horn OTK (Overtake) but changed to ‘OK’.
It is also believed that earlier it was painted as Horn OTK Please. So, it was clearly to make one understand that you should honk before overtaking.
But many times, the ‘T’ would merge with the truck’s paneling and was mistaken for just ‘OK’. So newer trucks have just ‘OK’ painted on them.
I am sure there are more theories. If you know of any, let us know in the comments section.
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