Types of Road Markings You Should Know

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Recognizing and obeying road markings are two responsibilities you have as a driver in Florida. Drivers who ignore road markings can put everyone else in danger by making unsafe or illegal lane changes or other maneuvers. Trying to pass a car across a solid yellow line, for example, could cause a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle. It is important to learn Florida’s road markings and pay attention to them when you drive. You could prevent a serious car accident.

Broken White Line

White lines separate two or more lanes of traffic flowing in the same direction. A broken white line indicates the ability to change lanes. If you are on a highway with all broken white lines, you are free to move from lane to lane as long as you do so safely. Changing lanes over a broken white line still requires you to signal your intent to merge and check for other vehicles occupying the destination lane.

Solid White Line

A solid white line marks the shoulder of the roadway. This helps vehicles stay off the shoulder and safely on the road. Dropping a tire off the shoulder of a road could make the vehicle spin out of control or flip. A solid white line between two lanes of same-direction traffic indicates a no-passing zone. You and the vehicles next to you are moving in the same direction, but you must stay in your lane until you see the broken white lines again.

Broken Yellow Line

If a line on the pavement is yellow, it indicates two lanes of traffic flowing in opposite directions. A two-lane road, for example, would have a yellow line between the two lanes. A broken yellow line means drivers may pass if it is safe to do so. Drivers passing over a broken yellow line must do so quickly and safely before returning to their side of the road in front of the vehicle they passed.

Solid Yellow Line

A solid yellow line still indicates a separation between lanes of traffic moving in different directions. If the lines are solid, it means the side driving closest to the solid line cannot pass. Drivers on a side with a broken yellow line may pass, but those on the side with the solid line must remain where they are.

Double Solid Yellow Lines

Double solid yellow lines mean traffic on either side of the road may not pass. No driver may move to the left of a solid yellow line, except to make a left turn or to turn into a private alley or driveway. The line closest to your vehicle determines if and when you may pass. Wait for a double solid yellow line to break on your side if you wish to pass.

Arrows

Arrows painted on the roadway can indicate a turn lane or tell traffic to stay straight. If the roadway only has an arrow pointing left or right, it is a turn-only lane. It is illegal and dangerous to drive straight from a turn only lane. Turn only lanes will have solid white lines indicating drivers must stay in the turn lane once they decide to use it. If a lane has a turn arrow and a straight arrow, drivers may use the lane to do either maneuver. A straight arrow means drivers must continue driving straight ahead and cannot turn.

Diamonds

A diamond symbol means the roadway is for special usage only. Diamonds may indicate high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, bus lanes or truck lanes. Lanes with painted diamonds have special rules. Drivers may only enter these lanes across broken white lines. Solid white lines, solid yellow lines or double solid lines indicate drivers must remain where they are until the lines break again. The rules surrounding lanes with diamonds are meant to keep a steady flow of traffic without interruption.