The variety of road markings and the laws regarding these marks can be confusing to new drivers. During a driving test, the road markings painted on the road pavement are not the only things that you should watch out for, but also the accompanying traffic signs, light signals, and color coding that work hand-in-hand to direct the flow of traffic.
Below are some tips on how to recognize common markings and drive accordingly:
Know what lines mean – The usual road markings you will see on road pavements are lines. These lines indicate passing permissions, so it is important to know what lines mean, so you do not violate any passing or lane-crossing rules and prevent possible collisions.
The use of broken lines indicates that driving past the lines is permitted when it is safe to do so. The use of single solid lines indicates that passing is discouraged but can be permitted if it is necessary and safe for the driver to cross over. The use of double solid lines indicates that passing is prohibited and no vehicle must attempt to cross over.
Know what road paint colors mean – There are two standard road marking colors—white and yellow. White road paint is used to indicate that the traffic on the other side of the line is of the same direction. Yellow road paint is used to indicate that the traffic on the other side of the line is of the opposite direction.
Know what turn arrows mean – Turn arrows are used to indicate the direction that vehicles must follow to enter a lane. A right turn arrow indicates that the driver should prepare to drive and turn to the right to enter the next lane.
A left turn arrow, on the other hand, indicates that the driver should turn left to enter the next lane. A straight arrow indicates that the driver should continue driving straight to the next lane. For dual use lanes, both a turn arrow and a straight arrow are used.
These special arrows are marked right before approaching a traffic signal. If the symbol is a left arrow and a straight arrow, the driver must stop before the traffic signal and prepare to either turn left to drive straight to enter the next lane. If the symbol is a right arrow and a straight arrow, the driver must prepare to either turn right or drive straight after stopping by the traffic signal.
Know how reversible express lanes work – There are express lanes that can be used to carry traffic of one direction at a certain time and then carry traffic of the opposite direction at another time. These lanes are marked with double broken yellow lines.
It would be hard for drivers to know which traffic direction an express lane carries at a certain moment, which is why a driver may only enter an express lane if a green arrow appears right before the entry of the lane.
The green arrow indicates that the current traffic the lane carries is of the same direction you are driving to. If the lane entry is marked with a red “x,” a driver may not enter the lane because the traffic the lane currently carries is of the opposite direction.