Road markings: White lines

This week we will be discussing white lines.

White lines appear on the ground to divide traffic going in the same direction. White lines can also be used to mark stopping positions for stop signs or red lights and crosswalks.

As a driver, you need to keep track of white lines on the road because they help you stay in your own lane. There are different types of white lines you need to be aware of.


Solid white line: Do not change lanes over solid white lines. Be careful on the road test because if any one of your tires crosses the white line, it is an instant fail. Crossing the solid white line when changing lanes into the designated left turn lane is a common road test mistake.


Broken white line (Perforated lines): You can change lanes when it is safe. Key words here are: when it is safe. Make sure you follow proper procedure when changing lanes because it can be a very dangerous and overwhelming task.

When changing lanes:
1. Check the rear view mirror to see what is behind and beside you in the other lanes.
2. Signal to your desired direction (right or left).
3. Check the side mirror in your desired direction.
4. Do a shoulder check.
5. If it’s safe, commit to the lane change.

If there is someone in your blind spot, then turn off your signal and let them past before you try again to merge into the new lane. Make sure you signal again when you are ready to try again. However, if you see the other car slowing down for you, then speed up and change lanes in front of them. (This takes practice to see if you have a safe gap to enter or not. Please work closely with your instructor to learn the details of this skill.)

Pro tip: When you check your rear view mirror and your side mirror, if you can see the full vehicle from top to bottom, then you typically have enough space to merge provided you are maintaining your speed and they are their speed. Again, this will take time and practice with the right guidance to get it correct.


Stop line: These are typically accompanied by a stop sign. Make sure you do a full stop behind this line. Tip: As you are approaching the line, as soon as you see it tuck underneath your car, you stop!


Pedestrian Crosswalk (Zebra crossing): Make sure you stop for pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the street. If they are crossing onto your side of the road, make sure they are fully on the sidewalk. If they are crossing away from you side, then they need to cross at least half way before you start going again.


Pedestrian Crosswalk with two lines: Another way a crosswalk can appear. Please still following the same procedure as the other pedestrian crossing.

As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Stay safe out there!


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