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Crossing the Double Yellow Lines

Pavement Markings - No Passing Zone

Standard Markings

On two-lane, two-way roadways you are likely to find any of these center line markings:

  • A normal broken yellow line.
  • A double yellow line, one of which is a normal broken yellow line and the other is a normal solid yellow line.
  • Two normal solid yellow lines.

On undivided two-way roadways with four or more lanes the center line markings consist of a solid double yellow line.

What They Mean

The lines mark where crossing the center line for passing is allowed or not allowed.

A normal broken yellow line tells you that passing is allowed (a passing zone).

When there is one broken and one solid line, traffic traveling adjacent to the broken line is allowed to pass (passing zone) and traffic traveling adjacent to the solid line is not allowed to pass (no-passing zone).

Two normal solid yellow lines are used where crossing the center line markings for passing is prohibited for traffic traveling in either direction (no-passing zone).

Where They Are Used

No-passing zone markings are typically used on approaches to grade crossings and at vertical and horizontal curves and other locations with limited sight distances or other special conditions.

When Can You Cross Double Yellow Lines?

Where two normal solid yellow lines mark a no-passing zone, you may not drive on the on left side of the roadway or on the left side of the pavement striping to pass.

You may drive to the left of these center lines when you are instructed by construction workers, traffic officers, or traffic signs to drive on the other side of the road because your side of the road is closed or blocked.

You may also cross double solid yellow lines in a no-passing zone when turning left at an intersection, or turning left into or from an alley, private road or driveway.

Unless prohibited by signs, some states also allow U-turns across a double solid yellow line.

About Mark
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2 Comments

  1. should say broken white lines re: lane seperator in same direction not just leave the choice as white lines too arbitrary / ambiguous.

    • Not really sure what white has to do with the above (yellow lines). However, traffic going in the same direction is separated by white lines. They can be broken, solid or double – not just broken.

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