One of the most common road markings that are ignored by drivers is the road lines. These road markings are the coloured paintings on the roads and help to perform the important function of guiding, regulating and controlling traffic. Especially in a country like India, knowing what these road markings mean and following their rules can make our travels safer and smoother.
What exactly do these markings mean?
Line markings are typically white or yellow. While other colours do exist, white and yellow are the most common ones seen on most roads. Horizontal road signs have the following characteristics:
– They mark the lanes.
– Serve as a psychological barrier.
– They define the directions of traffic.
– They help drivers with information about the road and the established lanes and areas.
A white line separates lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.
1. Dashed white line
A dashed white line is the most common of all road markings. This line indicates that you are free to change lanes with caution and stay in the other lane. These lines are drawn on either a one-way road or a two-way road where traffic is coming from both sides. A dashed white line allows you to overtake, but only after you have checked for approaching traffic.
2. Solid white line
Solid white lines separate two lanes going in the same direction. However, if the line is solid, this indicates that you should not change lanes and you can’t overtake the vehicle ahead. You can only stay in the lane you are already in.
3. Double solid white line
A double solid white line separates travel lanes and prohibits you from crossing the line. You absolutely cannot change lanes for any reason.
A road with yellow lines in the centre indicates that traffic is travelling in opposite directions.
1. Dashed yellow line
A dashed yellow line indicates that passing is allowed from either direction. If the yellow line is dashed, this means that you are free to pass a slow vehicle in front of you by crossing onto the other side of the road. Using your turn signals to indicate your intent to pass, the opposing lane serves as a temporary additional lane.
2. Single solid yellow line
Yellow lines separate two lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions. If there are two solid yellow lines, this means you are not allowed to pass the car in front of you by crossing into oncoming traffic. A double yellow line indicates that passing is not allowed from either side of the road.
3. Double solid yellow line
If there are double solid yellow lines in the centre of the road, this means you are not allowed to overtake the car in front of you by crossing into oncoming traffic. A double yellow line indicates that passing is not allowed from either side of the road.
4. Combo of a solid yellow line with broken yellow line
If the road has both – a dashed as well as a solid yellow line through the centre, it indicates that passing is only allowed by one direction of traffic. If the line on your side of the road is solid, you cannot pass, even if the other side is dashed. Only the dashed side of the road can pass. To put it simply, if you are driving on the side of the broken line, you can overtake a vehicle in your lane. But if you are driving on the solid line, you cannot overtake.