Driver Knowledge Tests

Road markings: rules and types

Road markings are painted to help road users navigate the roads, stay in the correct lanes and avoid hazards. These photos show you real-world examples of the markings.

Dividing lines

Double white unbroken (continuous) lines mean you are not allowed to overtake in either direction.
You can cross an unbroken line to enter a driveway, side road or road-related area from the main carriageway. You can also cross the unbroken line when emerging from a driveway, side road or other area.
Unbroken and broken lines are also used to mark the edge of the carriageway. You should not cross an unbroken edge line unless you are stopping, overtaking a vehicle turning right in a two-way street or right or left in a one-way street, turning at an intersection or driving a slow-moving vehicle like a road maintenance vehicle.
If the unbroken line is only on your side, you may not overtake, but if it’s a broken line on your side but an unbroken line on the other side, you can overtake.
Broken dividing lines may be crossed either to change lanes like in the motorway above, or to overtake (as long as there’s no danger to oncoming traffic)
A flush median marks an area which can be used to wait to turn right, or to join the traffic flow. It must not be used for overtaking
Arrows indicate a compulsory direction that this lane must follow
A give way line indicates where a vehicle should stop at an intersection or traffic lights to be safe from turning vehicles and crossing pedestrians
A turning bay can be used to wait to turn right or left. The hatched median strip before it can also be used, but drivers in the lane have priority
Curved broken lines indicate turning radii at intersections and act as de facto lanes
Broken yellow lines indicate a clearway – you can’t park here between the hours shown on the signage. In the photo above, it indicates a bus lane, which is also painted to reinforce that other vehicles aren’t allowed in it.
An unbroken yellow line is a no stopping line – you can’t stop unless it’s a medical or similar emergency or you are directed to by police.
Dragon’s teeth increase road users’ awareness of vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians and around school zones where the limit is 40km/h
Keep clear markings means you can’t wait in this zone. They are painted outside fire stations and at some intersections
Zig-zags on the road indicate a pedestrian crossing is ahead.
Audible lines, also called rumble strips or audio tactile pavement markings, create noise or vibration when you drive over them.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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