A Quick Guide to Road Markings


You’ll see a lot of different road markings on the road during your driving lessons. You need to know what all of them mean if you are to be a safe driver. Each tells you something different about how you should be conducting yourself on a particular stretch of road.

To help you along, we have a small list of common road markings for you here.

Single, Broken White Lines

The most common road markings, these lines denote the split between two lanes of traffic. You’ll see them on almost any road. However, there are some country roads and a few residential streets that don’t have them, especially when the lanes are narrow. In these cases, you should use the camber of the road to judge where your car should be. Also, drive more carefully when there are no road markings.

Double White Lines

A slightly more complex version of the single lines. Double lines tell you that it is illegal to overtake on the road.

You can cross these lines is if you’re making a turn onto a street or other road. You can also overtake on roads with these lines if a vehicle has stopped in your lane and has blocked it or if you need to get past a cyclist, horse, or road works.

As an aside, you may see these lines on one side and a solid white line on the other. These mean that traffic on the side with broken lines can act as they do normally, whereas those with the solid line cannot overtake.

Zigzags

You will typically see these lines outside of areas where you should drive more carefully. For example, a lot of schools and hospitals use them. They also tell you that you cannot park where the lines are present.

The lines come in both white and yellow varieties, but they generally mean the same thing regardless of the colour. The only exception to this is yellow zigzag lines that have a sign telling you that it is okay to park on them.

Hatched Markings

You will generally see these when driving on dual carriageways. They are used to keep traffic in line and indicate that you can’t make a right turn at that particular juncture. You cannot use them for overtaking if the hatches are bordered by a solid white line. You can if the line is broken, though it’s generally accepted that you still won’t, in most cases.

Box Junctions

You’ll notice these as boxes that have a crisscross pattern of lines inside them. Typically, you’ll find them at the end of junctions. They essentially mark a no stop zone that leaves the junction clear for cars exiting from it to join the traffic on your road. Do not come to a stop in this box else you will block the junction.

Yellow Lines

You will typically see these lines on the side of the road in single and double formats. A single yellow line can usually be parked on, however, there will be restrictions posted somewhere. These usually relate to the amount of time you can park on the line.

You should not park on double yellow lines at all unless it is an emergency situation. You can park on them in situations where you are unloading a vehicle continuously or if you have a blue badge in your car. In the latter case, your parking time is limited to three hours.

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