Road Lines (Road Marking): Types, Colors, Advantages & Disadvantages of Road Marking

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In this article, we will discuss road lines.

Road lines may be defined as a pattern or words that are denoted on the road pavement that is used to guide the user and control the traffic.

Normally, one can observe a white line on the pavement in different patterns or words.

There are different types of road marking patterns or words that are noted on the road each pattern shows a particular function.



  1. Why Road Lines Are Necessary?  

Road marking is necessary as it is very beneficial for road users and pedestrians.

Here are various points that prove the necessity of road marking or road lines that are as follows:

1. Roads without marking may direct to total vehicular confusion.

2. Road marking is good for boosting road safety and having a smooth flow of traffic.

3. Road lines include different patterns and different colors which specify individual functions.

4. They are also employed for increasing messages on road signs & other devices.



  2. Types of Road Marking  

There are majorly 7 types of road marking, which are categorized depending on vehicular movement and based on the function of each pattern.

1. Longitudinal Markings

2. Transverse Markings

3. Hazard Markings

4. Block Marking

5. Arrow Marking

6. Directional Marking

7. Facility Marking


a. Longitudinal Markings

The major aim of longitudinal marking is to drive and navigate the driver for forwarding movements and to restrict overtaking maneuvering at particular hazardous areas to neglect sideswiping and head-on collision accidents.

The longitudinal markings are normally in white and yellow color, where white is employed prominently and yellow is employed where it is strictly restricted not to be straddled by the vehicles.


Longitudinal Markings


i. Broken Lines 

Broken lines permit the driver to cross between the lanes with caution.

ii. Solid Lines 

Solid lines do not permit the drivers to cross between the lanes; only access at the starting point and exit at the endpoint is permitted.

iii. Double Solid

A double solid line denotes the driver should not intersect the lanes but can be exempted in case of emergency.

iv. Dotted Line 

The dotted line supplies a warning about route variation ahead.

The classification of longitudinal marking is as follows:

a. Centre line

b. Traffic lane lines

c. No passing zones

d. Warnings Lines

e. Edge lines


b. Transverse Markings

The transverse markings are delivered across the carriageway for the aim of traffic control with broken lines, single/double continuous lines such as stop markings, and give-way markings. These transverse markings are continually attended by corresponding signs.

Transverse pavement markings are marked along the direction of traffic where immediate action is required by the driver.

Transverse Markings


a. Stop Line Marking

The stop line must be marked where traffic lanes approach the traffic control devices (traffic signals) pointing the driver to stop the vehicle behind the line whenever needed.

b. Pedestrian Crossing

The pedestrian line suggests the movement or passage of pedestrians and implies the driver to slow down or stop the vehicle when needed.

c. Directional Arrows

These road lines are marked to deliver correct directions to the drivers and easy traffic flow.


c. Hazard Markings

Hazard marking is employed to display the driver of a hazard being the junction up ahead. Such as Denying cross-overs, changing lanes, merging, or diverging.

If the driver fails to detect these hazardous lines may have less time to respond to the upcoming hazard. Hazard marking is normally marked with hatch marking, and forbids marking chevron, and diagonal marking.


Hazard Markings


d. Block Marking

Block marking are made on the road pavement which is in blocks such as Zebra crossing for pedestrians, and rectangular and checkered markings for speed breakers.

The quality of the block with enough visibility is of foremost priority.

The use of thermoplastic paint for block marking is normally distinct from longitudinal marking. The hazard marking shall always be attended to by a suitable sign.


Block Marking


e. Arrow Marking

Arrow markings are painted on the road pavements or roads to deliver the correct direction to the driver, and they must carry or follow these required turns to bypass traffic confusion.

The arrows may have either one or more than one directions.

One Direction – The driver must drive in the specified direction.

Two Directions – The driver can drive in either direction.

Arrow Markings

f. Directional Marking

Directional markings are the marking, painted in terms of words, so it is straightforward to understand and permits the driver to handle action accordingly.

The characters of the message are extended, so it is visible to the driver looking at a lower angle.

Some directional marking words are as follows:

a. Stop

b. Slow

c. Exit only

d. School

e. Speed limit

f. Curve ahead


g. Facility Marking

This marking authorizes the promotion of the parking of vehicles and provides the driver with an idea about parking space limits and restrictions.

It also controls the invasion of designated places like Bus stops, fire hydrant Zones, etc.


Facility Marking



  3. Different Colors Used in Road Lines  

The different colors used in road lines are as follows:

1. White 

The white mark divides the traffic flow in the same direction.

2. Yellow 

The yellow line divides the traffic flow in opposite directions.

3. Red/Purple

This line is guided for hazardous junctions.

4. Blue

Blue is normally employed for public transportation and dedicated bus lanes.



  4. Advantages of Road Lines  

The advantages of road lines are as follows:

a. Very Beneficial to control accidents.

b. Beneficial to separate lanes.

c. It is environmentally friendly and highly long-lasting.

d. Directional marking delivers an easy indication when compared to another type of marking.

e. Pavement marking can be high retro-reflectivity.



  5. Disadvantages of Road Lines  

The advantages of road lines are as follows:

a. Initial Investment is high.

b. Regular maintenance is needed.

c. Unsuitable for low-cost roads and unpaved roads.

Hope you got an idea of the road line (Road Marking).



Read Also: Types of Handrails

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