Road Markings Explained
Despite encountering them everyday in our vehicles, not everyone knows what the different road markings mean. They all play a crucial role in our day-to-day lives, so it is vital that we understand them.
Junction road markings explained
A busy junction will contain a number of different markings, the most common of which is give way. They usually take the form of an upside-down triangle, marked with either brown or red lines. Found often on the right side of the road, the sign is a warning to other drivers that vehicles will be passing by in front of them. If a vehicle is spotted coming down that road, drivers must give way to the right and let them through.
If there are traffic lights or stop signs present, thick white lines are often present, too. They are marked across a lane to alert drivers that they must stop if the red light is illuminated. All forms of vehicle must come to a stop before hitting the lines – failing to do this is an offence.
Some stop lights have a cyclist-only lane with its own individual set of stop lights, the same rules apply here.
Some busy junctions take the form of box junctions. These are marked by a yellow cross-grid. You must not enter the grid unless there is enough space for you to fully pass through, you may also enter the box junction if you are turning right but you have been blocked by oncoming traffic.
Zigzag line road markings explained
White zigzags are commonly found either side of pedestrian crossings. They are designed to indicate that parking and overtaking in these zones is strictly prohibited. The same rule applies to yellow zigzag lines, which are found outside of schools, hospitals, police and fire stations. Their purpose is to provide pedestrians, children and staff a clear, unobstructed view of the road in front of them.
Yellow lines are found near some curbs, often near residential areas. Their job is to restrict parking. Single yellow lines allow parking at certain times.
Carriageway road markings explained
Single carriageways often separate lanes of traffic with central broken white lines. Gaps between the lines may shorten to warn drivers of incoming hazards.
Shortened white lines will be used if both lanes of traffic are traveling in the same direction.
Double white lines help manage traffic flow, if the line on one side is broken, you are permitted to cross the line to overtake.
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