Pavement Markings & Striping And What They Mean

Pavement Markings & Striping And What They Mean

Ensuring that the standardized pavement markings are used on roads to guide traffic is among the most critical facets of a safe and effective roadway. No other traffic management system can transmit messages to drivers and pedestrians as effectively as pavement markers. They provide drivers with proper guidance on road orientation, vehicle location, and additional critical driving information.

Whereas pavements lines are relatively straightforward, understandable signs of where you can and where you cannot park, pavement markers encountered somewhere else on the road can be a little more perplexing.

Below we will discuss some of the most common pavement markings and their meanings.

Strong Yellow Markings

Among all the pavement signs, bright yellow lines are probably the easiest to recognize. Yellow markings indicate two-way traffic and they separate traffic moving in opposite directions. A continuous yellow line signifies a “no-move” zone, which means you cannot overtake other vehicles in your lane.

Broken Yellow Lines

Broken yellow lines mean that if the road is clear, you may overtake a vehicle in your lane. This sign also designates a two-way traffic. Overtaking other cars in any direction should be done with caution and only when the road ahead is clear.

One Solid and One Broken Yellow Line

In this case there is straight yellow line with a parallel broken yellow line right next to it. Vehicles next to the broken yellow line may overtake drivers in their lane with caution, but traffic next to the solid yellow line is MUST NOT overtake.

White Markings

White lane markings are the most familiar lines seen on the road. White lines are used to separate lanes on roads where all traffic is heading in the same direction. A white line on the middle of the road indicates that you cannot overtake and cannot change your lane. The white lines on the road side are the boundary lines.

Lines that Cannot be Crossed/ Stop Lines

Stop lines are indicated by a single white line, perpendicular to your vehicle that indicates where you must always come to a complete stop.


Parallel white lines are drawn around the sides of all roads and highways to indicate crosswalks. Before the crosswalks, large solid white stopping lines are also clearly marked. The above are some of the most common pavement markings and their meanings; make sure to learn them and always follow them, as this will help you become a safer driver.

Straight Edge Contractors provide Las Cruces, NM, residents with quality line striping services. Get a free quote for our services or schedule an appointment with our professionals today!