Different road markings have unique meanings. They guide every driver on road traffic by indicating directions, halts or stops, hazard warnings, and turning points. Road markings are commonly applied on road pavement using road paint, and the paint color also indicates unique meanings.
Read below the basic road markings and their significance in directing drivers and affecting road traffic:
Yellow center lines – center road lines painted in yellow divide lanes of opposite traffic. These lines are commonly seen on two-way highways or streets. Broken yellow lines indicate permission to safely pass the line and cross over to the other lane.
Solid yellow lines indicate variable permission to cross or pass. Drivers do not usually cross solid yellow lines; but when necessary, a driver must pass with extra caution to prevent any collision with vehicles running the opposite direction.
Double solid yellow lines indicate that no passing or crossing is permitted even if a driver needs to turn around. A solid yellow line paralleled by broken yellow lines indicate that the traffic drivers along the solid line are not permitted to pass or cross, but the traffic drivers along the broken lines are permitted to safely pass and cross over to the other side.
White center lines – center road lines painted in white divide lanes of same-direction traffic. These lines are common in one-way streets. White broken lines indicate permission to safely pass and cross over to the other lane.
Solid white line indicates permission to pass with extra caution only when necessary. Double solid white lines indicate that no passing or crossing over to the other lane is permitted.
Stop lines – Stop lines are usually represented by white solid lines painted across the road pavement, not along. Stop lines tell drivers to stop or halt before the line. These lines usually accompany crosswalks, the designated areas where pedestrians are allowed to cross the road or street.
It is mandatory that every vehicle must stop before the line whenever a crosswalk is present to let the waiting pedestrians safely cross. When the traffic of pedestrians ceases, the vehicles are allowed to proceed again.
Crosswalks – These areas are marked by parallel white lines called “zebra lines” that appear as large white rectangles that are perpendicular to the traffic. A stop line or white solid line is usually painted across the street to make vehicle stop right before a crosswalk.
Edge lines – white road paint is also applied near the side or edge of the road. This white line indicates the boundary of the traffic and no vehicle must pass through that line.
Other lines – Other road markings are applied to indicate specific stops and boundaries that may vary from state to state, and not all roads are marked with these special lines. Streets of inner-city roads may designate bicycle lanes for cyclists.
The bicycle lane is marked by a diamond shaped symbol on the side of the road with a white solid line applied along it to indicate that vehicles must not pass or cross the line.
Yellow left-turn lanes are appear as curving solid yellow lines with yellow stripes that tell drivers to drive along the curving line, not across it, in turning to the left of the traffic lane.