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White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines

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What’s the difference between yellow lines and white lines?

Good question!

 


 

Yellow lines separate traffic moving in different directions.

 

linesforblogAA White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines


 

White lines separate traffic moving in the same direction (same direction, one-way streets, freeways, HOV lane, etc.) 

linesforblog2AA White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines

 


 The yellow line should – in general – always be to your left. 

 

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Lane changing is allowed over broken white lines (when safe):

 

broken white2014 White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines


 

Lane changing is not allowed over solid white lines (It is illegal):

 

Change Lanes Solid LinesAA White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines


 

Passing is technically allowed (although perhaps discouraged by many, depending on the circumstances) over one solid yellow line (if and when safe), at your discretion:

solidyellowone 600x3981 White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines

 


 

Passing is allowed in either direction over one dotted yellow line – if and when safe – at your discretion:

 

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Passing is not allowed against double yellow solid lines (It is illegal):

DSC 4399 600x3981 White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines

 

 

 


Passing is allowed over a solid yellow line with a broken yellow line only if the broken line is closest to you.

(If the solid line is closest to you, it is illegal for you to pass):

 

 

yellow 600x3982 White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines


 

Pop Quiz! If you are driving on this one-way ramp and you see these lines, which direction should the car be going? Is it traveling toward us or away from us? 

Lines4 White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines

 


 

If you guessed this way, then you’re correct. Remember that the yellow line should be on your LEFT. If the yellow line is on your RIGHT, then you’re on the wrong side of the road.

 

Lines5 White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines

Lines8 White Lines, Yellow Lines, Solid Lines, Broken Lines

 

 

 


 

Hope that helps!


  • RDTTMM

    When driving with a double yellow on your left and a white line on your right, is it better to be close to the white or yellow line?? (It’s a two lane road, with traffic traveling in both directions.)

    • http://drivinginstructorblog.com BCDrivingBlog

      what’s wrong with the middle?

      • http://drivinginstructorblog.com BCDrivingBlog

        It’s better to be closer to the white if you had to pick one, as closer to the yellow means closer to an oncoming/head on collision and closer to the white means closer to simply driving along the right part of the road or shoulder.

  • Anita

    If I’m in a safe passing zone marked 80km and have 2 cars in front of me after passing the first vehicle do I have to then go back to the right lane before overtaking the second vehicle or can I stay in the left lane and continue passing if there are no oncoming vehicles?

    If I remain in the left lane and am approaching to pass the second vehicle do I have the right of way or would they? Is the onus on the vehicle in front of me to use their mirrors before crossing the center line and making a left turn across the roadway while I’m getting ready to pass them?

    • http://drivinginstructorblog.com BCDrivingBlog

      Oh, that’s a whole new can of worms, that should probably have it’s very own post… thanks for the inspiration!

  • Liam Ma

    Thank you so much! This really helped. I don’t usually take time to comment but I really did appreciate this post!

    • http://drivinginstructorblog.com BCDrivingBlog

      Hey no worries I am happy it was helpful!! I can tell that this post is popular from the site stats. But it is pretty sweet to get a comment once in a while ;)

  • Dave

    Solid white line…. Icbc claim adjuster was wrong!

    • http://drivinginstructorblog.com BCDrivingBlog

      Dare I ask?

  • k

    Thanks! This was helpful!

    • BCDrivingBlog

      don’t mention it :)

  • Emma

    I see people ignoring the ‘no passing over solid white lines’ rule all the time.
    I mean, there is no situation where that is okay right? ? e.g. – a bus in front stopped to let people on, and even though the white line was solid, every car (except me) changed lanes and continued on. I felt like a bit of fool sitting there stuck behind the bus lol.

    • carmenac

      Technically it is illegal to change lanes over a solid white line. Try to look farther ahead when you drive – as far as you can possibly see – and keep your eyes moving. That way you can go around the bus way before you get stuck behind it. City busses stop a lot and that is predictable. When driving always pick the ‘lane of least resistance’ and the lane in which you have the least potential conflicts and the greatest visibility. Try that out and let me know how it works for you!


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