Right Driver

Road markings and lines

Road markings across the carriageway

These lines indicate that you must either stop then give way, or simply give way to other traffic.

Stop lines

Stop line at traffic signals or police control.
You can see the solid stop line just before the traffic signals
This stop sign line is thicker than the line at traffic signals. You must stop at this line.
This is a stop line for pedestrians at a level crossing
A similar dashed line is used at the edge of a zebra crossing and for controlled crossings with lights (below).
Pedestrians walk between the dashed white lines

Give way lines

Drivers must stop if they need to give way to another road user.

Give way to traffic (main road or mini roundabout)
Give way line on a side road joining a busier main road.
Give way to traffic from your right at a roundabout
This is the second option for giving way at a mini roundabout
You can see this signal dashed line on the left where the burgundy car is waiting

Road markings along the carriageway

Road markings along the carriageway are parallel with the direction of the road. They mark lanes, the edge of the road and tell you whether you can overtake or park.

The edge line is a solid white line that runs along the kerb or demarcates a cycle lane
The edge line on a dual carriageway, also showing lane lines
A lane line is a short line with long spaces
A centre line marks the centre of the road. Avoid crossing it if the lines lengthen and the gaps shorten as it means there’s a hazard ahead – it becomes a hazard warning line.
This hazard warning line is a broken centre line with short gaps.
The centre hazard warning line warns drivers of this causeway
When the nearest line to you is broken, you can cross these double white lines, as long as you can move back to your side of the road before the line become solid. If the line closest to you is solid, you cannot cross it unless to turn into a side road or driveway, or to overtake a cyclist, horse or road maintenance vehicle that is travelling at less than 10mph (or is parked)
Vehicles coming towards you should not cross into your lane.
With double white solid lines, vehicles are not allowed to cross them in either direction, except for overtaking a parked vehicle or a cyclist, horse or road maintenance vehicle that’s travelling at less than 10mph.
Painted chevrons between lane markings are to give extra protection for vehicles turning right. They are not to be used for passing other vehicles unless that vehicle is stopped.
The median strip allows vehicles to leave a gap on the left while they are turning right

Road markings for waiting restrictions

Waiting restrictions are in place to provide better flow of traffic.

Double yellow lines mean you must not stop at any time.
A single yellow line means you must not stop between the times indicated on the sign.
An area marked with a dashed white line and a sign, as above, means you can only wait in this area during the times indicated on the sign

Red routes

Red routes are used in some areas instead of yellow lines. Always look for the sign indicating what restrictions the red line is giving.

A double red line means no stopping at any time.
A red route is shown on the right, along with a bus stop
A single red line will have restrictions outlined on a sign, such as no stopping between 7am – 7pm.
Single red line

Parking is limited to the days and duration shown.

A parking box marked with red dashed lines can only be used for loading within the times shown. This is designed for delivery drivers to not disrupt rush hour traffic by blocking the route

Other road markings

You must not park or wait in this area, even if you are picking up or dropping off children
A give way triangle is painted on the road just before the give way lines.
You can see the give way triangle on the right-hand side.
Some parking spaces are reserved for specific vehicles, e.g. this one for a doctor.
Only buses can stop or wait in a marked bus stop
Only buses can use bus lanes unless otherwise indicated. In the image above, we can see a red marked box and the restrictions are shown behind the green destination sign, above the blue sign.
Box junctions indicate areas where you must not enter unless your exit is clear.
Zigzag lines are painted close to pedestrian crossings

Some diagrams are used under the Open Government Licence.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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