Stripes by Types

Well they are all there for a purpose, so let’s get a little refresher course on the different types of stripes.

Yellow lines are designed to divide traffic that’s travelling in two different directions. If there’s a single yellow line that’s dashed, that means that passing is permitted in both directions, as long as it’s safe to do so.

If there are two yellow stripes, and both of them are solid, that means that no passing is allowed in either direction at any time.

But if there are two yellow stripes, and the one on your side of the road is dashed, that means that passing is allowed in your direction, but not the other direction.

On the other hand, if the yellow stripe is solid on your side of the road, you are not allowed to pass.

White stripes are designed to separate traffic that is moving in the same direction, and most of the time white stripes are dashed, and you can change lanes when needed.

But in some cases the white stripes are solid, such as when they’re used to designate the edge of a road. Solid white stripes are also used for turn lanes to prevent lane changes near intersections.

Many times there’s also a white arrow on the road, indicating which direction traffic in this lane will be turning. Once you enter a turn lane, you should never try to turn back into a traffic lane.

Bike lanes are to be used by bicyclists only, and drivers should use extreme caution in these areas. Vehicles can cross over a bike lane to park, or to enter private property, but motorists can’t travel down the street by using a bike lane.

Sometimes a center lane is used as a left turn lane for both directions, and it’s separated from the other lanes by 2 yellow striped lines. Drivers using this shared turn lane need to be aware that traffic from the other direction could be entering the same lane at any time.
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Crosswalks usually have large white stripes to designate where pedestrians should cross the street. Be aware that some crosswalks are in the middle of a block, so you should watch for pedestrians in these areas as well.

White “stop” stripes are used at many busy intersections. They‘re designed to keep you a safe distance back from the intersection when you’re waiting at a stop sign or a red light. You should stop before you get to these lines, and only cross them when you’re ready to proceed through the intersection. Stopping beyond the stripe can put pedestrians in danger, and could put you in danger…of getting a ticket.


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