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Safety Department Blast  01.13.2022

Roads and Highways Communicate To Us

Did you know that while you were safely driving to work today, un-distracted, clear concentration with lites “On” and both hands on the wheel the roads were talking to you?

The lines of communication are clear and follow MUTCD rules (Manual Uniform Traffic Control Devices).

Road Line Communication

  • Solid White Lines: A single white line divides lanes of traffic going the same direction.  They also indicate the right side of a lane on a single lane of travel, cross walks and mark a stopping point at intersections. They are also used to indicate both sides of the road for exit/entrance ramps.
  • Solid Yellow Lines: A single yellow line divide lanes of two-way traffic.  They also indicate the left side of a lane on a single, divided roadway lane of travel.
  • Double Yellow Lines: A solid, double line indicates it is not safe to pass.
  • Solid and Broken Yellow Lines: On two-way roads, they indicate it is not safe to pass from the lane with the solid yellow line.
  • Red Lines: These indicate strictly enforced a no parking lanes, no stopping lanes, or no travel lanes.  They are often used to indicate the edge of bicycle lanes or paths.
  • Dotted Lines/Single Dash Lines: These indicate the center of the road. Or in multiple, one-direction lanes, they are lane indicators.
  • Double Broken Lines: A double broken yellow line indicates the lane is reversible.  Normally in construction areas or on some high travel, one-way roads the direction of travel is changed depending on load demands.
  • Zig-Zag Lines: A zig-zag line on either side of the road indicates you should not park on the shoulder of the road in that area.
  • Diamond Lines: A diamond in the center of the lane indicates a HOV lane.  (High Occupancy Vehicle)
  • Hatched Lines: A hatched line, occasionally with diagonal lines inside, indicate a start of two-way travel.
  • Chevron Lines: A chevron line or arrow indicates merging traffic approaching.

Reflectors Communicate Too

Often called cats eyes, DOTS, road turtles, delineators or just plain reflectors have a color-coded meaning also for nite-time visibility.

  • White Reflectors: Indicate the right side of the road or indicate a white line lane if the stripe is obstructed.
  • Yellow Reflectors: Indicate the left side of the road or indicate a yellow line lane if the stripe is obstructed.
  • Red Reflectors: Indicate a motorist is traveling in the wrong direction.
  • Blue Reflectors: Indicate fire hydrants
  • Green Reflectors: These on the side of the road indicate drains or environmental areas.

So there, the road was trying to communicate to you today.  Basically, if you see a white line or reflector, it should be on your right, or you might be going the wrong direction.

  • If you see a solid yellow line or reflector, it should be on your right, or you might be going the wrong direction.
  • If you see a red line or reflector, you ARE going the wrong direction.

Have a Safe Day.
Be Safe My Friends!

Gary Connor
Safety and Compliance Manager

Safety is a mindset.  Safety is a conscious pattern and alert lifestyle.  You are alert and aware of hazards and dangers and keep yourself and the people around you safe.