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United States
Pavement Markings

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Contact Information: Kevin Sylvester at Kevin.Sylvester@dot.gov

Preface

Pavement markings are used to convey messages to roadway users. They indicate which part of the road to use, provide information about conditions ahead, and indicate where passing is allowed. Yellow lines separate traffic flowing in opposite directions. Drivers should stay to the right of yellow lines. A solid yellow line indicates that passing is prohibited. A dashed yellow line indicates that passing is allowed. White lines separate lanes for which travel is in the same direction. A double white line indicates that lane changes are prohibited. A single white line indicates that lane changes are discouraged. A dashed white line indicates that lane changes are allowed.

Symbols are used to indicate permitted lane usages. A diamond indicates a lane reserved for use by high-occupancy vehicles. A bicycle indicates a lane reserved for bicyclists. Arrows show required or permitted movements at intersections. A row of solid triangles indicates that the road user must yield.

Pavement markings are also used to alert users to potentially hazardous conditions ahead. A letter X with a letter R on each side indicates a highway-rail grade crossing ahead. A hollow triangle indicates a yield ahead. A series of progressively wider lines across a lane indicates a speed hump ahead.

Standards for the design and application of pavement markings can be found in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Design specifications for pavement markings are in the Standard Highway Signs Book. Both of these books are available online at http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov. The MUTCD is also available for purchase through the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (http://www.aashto.org), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (http://www.ite.org), the American Traffic Safety Services Association (http://www.atssa.com), and the U.S. Government Printing office (http://www.gpo.gov). The Standards Highway Signs Book can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office and the American Traffic Safety Services Association.

United States of America Department of Transportation Logo

Prepared in 2002 by the
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Transportation Operations

FHWA-OP-02-090

Yield Markings

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Enlarged View of Yield Markings

Detailed Description of Yield Markings


Work Zone Pavement Markings

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Enlarged View of Work Zone Pavement Markings

Detailed Description of Work Zone Pavement Markings


Miscellaneous Lane Markings

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Enlarged View of Miscellaneous Lane Markings

Detailed Description of Miscellaneous Lane Markings


Intersection Markings

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Enlarged View of Intersection Markings

Detailed Description of Intersection Markings


Two-Way Traffic Markings

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Enlarged View of Two-Way Traffic Markings

Detailed Description of Two-Way Traffic Markings


Freeway Entrance and Exit Markings

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Enlarged View of Freeway Entrance and Exit Markings

Detailed Description of Freeway Entrance and Exit Markings


HOV Lane Markings

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Enlarged View of HOV Lane Markings

Detailed Description of HOV Lane Markings