Most Filipino drivers acquire their driving skills from either a family member or a friend. This is the reason why new drivers, even those experienced have a hard time reading and understanding common road markings. The thing about this is every driver needs to master it. Anyone who went through driving school probably gained knowledge of what these road markings mean. Although some of these are also part of the driver’s license examination, we all know how effortless it is to get one even without taking the exam.
Road markings are actually regarded as the most efficient caution or warning and navigational aid to every driver. Perhaps it’s better to familiarize yourself with these basic road or lane markings, because at some point they might save your life.
Here’s a list of road markings and what they actually mean:
White Solid Shoulder Line
These lines, in the driving world are considered the most critical to take note of. They line the edges of the roadways, mark out intersections, and indicate where and when to take extra caution. Any asphalt or concrete surface beyond this line should not be used during the normal operation of your vehicle.
Diagonal White Lines
These road markings are usually filled with diagonal white lines, outlined by a solid white line which signifies that the area is not technically part of the roadway. Vehicles on the right are never to occupy these areas outside of emergency situations. These areas are often used to ease the flow of traffic where roads diverge or intersect. Moreover, to avoid accidents and road mishaps.
Broken White Center Line
This denotes the center of a two-lane road, or marks the division between lanes on multi-lane roads. It is a reminder to stay in your lane. Straddling the line or going on the other side is illegal and punishable by law. However, as the line is “broken,” this means it is legal to cross it when overtaking or changing lanes. Bear in mind that vehicles continuing in a straight line within their lane automatically have the “right of way” so wait for your turn.
Solid White Center Line
This is present to separate cars between two flows of traffic. It is solid because it is used in multi-lane roads and has to be distinguished from the broken lines. This also indicates that drivers are discouraged or not allowed to overtake unless there is no oncoming traffic.
Solid White Double Center Line
You are forbidden from overtaking over this line, but you may make left turns over it, if the way is clear. You need to remember, however, that oncoming traffic still has right of way.
Solid Yellow Double Center Line
These types of road markings are used to give drivers the indication that it’s hazardous for overtaking at any time. More often than not, you’ll see these lines on blind curves or in areas where fast-moving two-way traffic meets on an undivided road. Furthermore, this is the line they use to indicate that the area is accident-prone.
Mixed Center Line/Solid Yellow With Broken Yellow Or White Line
This indicates that only one side can overtake; that is the side with the broken line. This is often found entering curves where the view cannot be seen coming from one direction, but is clear from the opposite side.
Solid Yellow Lane Divider
These types of road markings here in the Philippines are exceedingly essential particularly in EDSA. To put it simply, this is where buses can be; and can also mean bike lanes in other areas. By right these lanes are supposed to be buses only.
Solid White Lane Divider
These are often found near intersections, and are reminders to stay in lane. As a practice, if you’re turning at an intersection, it’s best to get into the turning lane 50m before the intersection, while the lane divider is still broken.
Broken Yellow Lane Divider
This road marking is particularly seen in EDSA. Once you see the solid yellow line turn into a broken yellow line this means that it is fine for other vehicles other than buses to combine to this lane. However, be cautious because buses still hold the right of way.
Direction arrows or lane arrows indicate the direction you are allowed to go within a lane. It can be combined with solid white lane dividers. If the arrow points forward only, you cannot make a turn from that lane; if it points forward and to the side, you can either go straight or turn. If it points only to the side, you must turn within that lane. Ignoring these arrows might get you a ticket, or worse, get you into an accident.
Mixed Double Lane Divider/Solid Yellow With Broken Yellow Or White Line
One solid yellow line with a broken yellow line indicates that traffic or the person driving on the side of the solid yellow side cannot cross lanes or overtake, while traffic or the person driving on the side of the broken line may do so if the way is clear and remember to do it with caution. This is often used where smaller arteries merge into main roads or where feeder roads merge onto the highway.
Rumble Strips / Sleepers Lines
These tightly, narrow-spaced horizontal white lines are designed to inform drivers to stop or slow down. In addition, it can also be to alert them because it indicate hazards or accident-prone area ahead, such as dangerous or blind curves or merging traffic or lanes. These serve to wake the driver with vibrations generated by a series of mini-humps installed along the direction of travel.
Solid White Horizontal Line
These types of road markings can be seen in intersections with the presence of traffic lights and indicates that the horizontal solid line is the point where vehicles have to stop on a stop sign or when the light turns red.
Presidential Decree 1958 (1984), an amendment of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of 1964, obliges motorists to give way to pedestrians in pedestrian lanes or “zebra lanes”. This indicates a pedestrian crossing zone. Stopping over this at a red light is a traffic violation, so make sure to pay attention to those light timers. Furthermore, you can upset pedestrians so better get out of the way.
The Yellow Box
This yellow box with an X or X’s inside, is typically found in intersections. They warn drivers for areas of high traffic flow in multiple directions. As such, no vehicle is allowed to stay in this box for a prolonged period of time. They may be placed on intersections with or without traffic lights. It is designed to help keep motorists from causing traffic congestions in intersections.
One rule of thumb for any motorist is to stay out of the Yellow Box as much as possible, especially when driving in heavy traffic.
When approaching a box junction, make certain that there is enough space on the other side of the intersection for your car before proceeding. It means that this part of the intersection must be kept open at all times.
Broken Blue Lane Divider
This indicates the motorbike lane along major thoroughfares. The broken line indicates that you can move into and out of it, but the lane is preferentially for motorbikes.
Nowadays many traffic lights now have countdown timers. If there are only 3 seconds left in the green light and you’re several car lengths away from the box, slow down and wait for the next light. Also, the yellow traffic light means “slow down,” not “speed up.” The only vehicles that can continue driving during a yellow light are those already in the box junction. Even if your light is green, do not proceed if there is no room for you on the other side. Motorists who don’t respect the Yellow Box shall be penalized and apprehended. Unfortunately, most professional drivers today became the common violators of such road markings.
These road markings must be kept in mind always in order to become more law-abiding compare to others who are not. Aside from these being aware of the road markings would always make a driver safer.
Special thanks to TopGear PH for sharing these information. We of course want to promote the safety and welfare of each and every driver.