Road Markings Classification In India

This Article Covers Road Markings Detail Like Classification Of Marking Methods Their Standards And Process.

Road Markings

The essential purpose of road markings is to guide and control traffic on a highway. They supplement the function of traffic signs.

The markings serve as a psychological barrier and signify the delineation of traffic path and its lateral clearance from traffic hazards for the safe movement of traffic.

Hence they are very important to ensure the safe, smooth and harmonious flow of traffic. Various types of road markings like longitudinal markings, transverse markings, object markings and special markings to warn the driver about the hazardous locations in the road etc. will be discussed in detail.

Classification Of Road Markings

The road markings are classified as,

  • Longitudinal markings.
  • Transverse markings.
  • Object markings
  • Word messages
  • Marking for parking
  • Marking at hazardous locations etc.

Longitudinal Markings

  • Longitudinal markings placed along the direction of traffic on the roadway surface, for the purpose of indicating to the driver, his proper position on the roadway.
  • Some of the guiding principles in longitudinal markings also discussed below.
  • Longitudinal markings provided for separating traffic flow in the same direction and the predominant color used- white.
  • Yellow color used to separate the traffic flow in opposite direction and also to separate the pavement edges.
  • The lines can either broken, solid or double solid. Broken lines are permissive in character and allows crossing with discretion, if traffic situation permits.
  • Solid lines are restrictive in character and does not allow crossing except for entry or exit from a side road or premises or to avoid a stationary obstruction.

Centre Line

  • Centre line separates the opposing streams of traffic and facilitates their movements. Usually no centre line provided for roads having width less than 5 m and for roads having more than four lanes.
  • The centre line may marked with either single broken line, single solid line, double broken line, or double solid line depending upon the road and traffic requirements.
  • On urban roads with less than four lanes, the centre line may be single.
  • broken line segments of 3 m long and 150 mm wide.
  • The broken lines placed with 4.5 m gaps.
Center Line Road Markings
  • On curves and near intersections, gap shall reduced to 3 meters. On undivided urban roads with at least two traffic lanes in each direction, the centre line marking may be a single solid line of 150 mm wide as in figure
  • Or double solid line of 100 mm wide separated by a space of 100 mm as shown in figure
  • The centre barrier line marking for four lane road shown in figure

Traffic Lane Lines

  • The subdivision of wide carriageways into separate lanes on either side of the carriage way helps the driver to go straight and also curbs the meandering tendency of the driver.
  • At intersections, these traffic lane lines will eliminate confusion and facilitates turning movements.
  • Thus traffic lane markings help in increasing the capacity of the road in addition ensuring more safety.
  • The traffic lane lines normally single broken lines of 100 mm width.
  • Some examples shown in figure,

No Passing Zones

  • No passing zones established on summit curves, horizontal curves, and on two lane and three lane highways, where overtaking maneuvers prohibited because of low sight distance.
  • It may marked by a solid yellow line along the centre or a double yellow line. In the case of a double yellow line, the left hand element may be a solid barrier line, the right hand may be a either a broken line or a solid line.
  • These solid lines also called barrier lines. When a solid line is to the right of the broken line, the passing restriction shall apply only to the opposing traffic.
  • Some typical examples shown in figures In the latter case, the no passing zone staggered for each direction.

Warning Lines

  • Warning lines warn the drivers about the obstruction approaches.
  • They are marked on horizontal and vertical curves where the visibility is greater than prohibitory criteria specified for no overtaking zones.
  • They broken lines with 6 m length and 3 m gap.
  • A minimum of seven line segments should be provided. A typical example shown in figure

Edge Lines

  • Edge lines indicate edges of rural roads which have no kerbs to delineate the limits up to which the driver can safely venture.
  • They should be at least 150 mm from the actual edge of the pavement.
  • They painted in yellow or white.

Transverse Markings

  • Transverse markings marked across the direction of traffic. They marked at intersections etc.
  • The site conditions play a very important role. The type of road marking for a particular intersection depends on several variables such as speed characteristics of traffic, availability of space etc.
  • Stop line markings, markings for pedestrian crossing, direction arrows, etc. are some of the markings on approaches to intersections.

Stop Line

  • They indicates the position beyond which the vehicles should not proceed when required to stop by control devices like signals or by traffic police.
  • They should placed either parallel to the intersecting roadway or at right angles to the direction of approaching vehicles.
  • An example for a stop line marking shown in figure.

Pedestrian Crossings

  • Pedestrian crossings are provided at places where the conflict between vehicular and pedestrian traffic is severe.
  • The site should selected that there less inconvenience to the pedestrians and also the vehicles not interrupted too much.
  • At intersections, the pedestrian crossings should preceded by a stop line at a distance of 2 to 3m for unsignalized intersections and at a distance of one meter for signalized intersections.
  • Most commonly used pattern for pedestrian crossing is Zebra crossing consisting of equally spaced white strips of 500 mm wide. A typical example of an intersection illustrating pedestrian crossings shown in figure.

Directional Arrows

  • In addition to the warning lines on approaching lanes, directional arrows should used to guide the drivers in advance over the correct lane to taken while approaching busy intersections.
  • Because of the low angle at which the markings viewed by the drivers, the arrows should be elongated in the direction of traffic for adequate visibility. The dimensions of these arrows are also very important.
  • A typical example of a directional arrow shown in figure

Object Marking

  • Physical obstructions in a carriageway like traffic island or obstructions near carriageway like signal posts, pier etc. cause serious hazard to the flow of traffic and should be adequately marked.
  • They may marked on the objects adjacent to the carriageway.

Objects Within The Carriageway

  • The obstructions within the carriageway such as traffic islands, raised medians, etc. may marked by not less than five alternate black and yellow stripes.
  • The stripes should slope forward at an angle of 45 with respect to the direction of traffic.
  • These stripes shall be uniform and should not be less than 100 m wide so as to provide sufficient visibility.

Objects Adjacent To Carriageway

  • Sometimes objects adjacent to the carriageway may pose some obstructions to the flow of traffic. Objects such  subway piers and abutments, culvert head walls etc. are some examples for such obstructions.
  • They should marked with alternate black and white stripes at a forward angle of 45 with respect to the direction of traffic.
  • Poles close to the carriageway should painted in alternate black and white up to a height of 1.25 m above the road level. Other objects such as guard stones, drums, guard rails etc. where chances of vehicles hitting them are only when vehicle runs o the carriageway should be painted in solid white.
  • Kerbs of all islands located in the line of traffic flow shall painted with either alternating black and white stripes of 500 mm
  • wide or chequered black and white stripes of same width. The object marking for central pier and side walls of an underpass illustrated in figure.
Road Markings

Word Messages

  • Information to guide, regulate, or warn the road user may also be conveyed by inscription of word message on road surface.
  • Characters for word messages are usually capital letters.The legends should be as brief as possible and shall not consist of more than three words for any message. Word messages require more and important time to read and comprehend than other road markings.
  • Therefore, only few and important ones usually adopted. Some of the examples of word messages are STOP, SLOW, SCHOOL, RIGHT TUN ONLY etc.
  • The character of a road message also elongated so that driver looking at the road surface at a low angle can also read them easily. The dimensioning of a typical alphabet shown in figure.


  • The marking of the parking space limits on urban roads promotes more efficient use of the parking spaces and tends to prevent encroachment on places like bus stops, re hydrant zones etc. where parking is undesirable.
  • Such parking space limitations should be indicated with markings that are solid white lines 100 mm wide.
  • Words TAXI, CARS, SCOOTERS etc. may also be written if the parking area is specific for any particular type of vehicle.
  • To indicate parking restriction, kerb or carriage way marking of continuous yellow line 100 mm wide covering the top of kerb or carriageway close to it may be used.

Types Of Parking And Parking Studies

Hazardous Location

  • Wherever there is a change in the width of the road, or any hazardous location in the road, the driver should be warned about this situation with the help of suitable road markings.
  • Road markings showing the width transition in the carriageway should be of 100 mm width, Converging lines shall be 150 mm wide and shall have a taper length of not less than twenty times the o-set distance.
  • Typical carriageway markings showing transition from wider to narrower sections and vice-versa shown in figure.
Road Markings

In the figure, the driver warned about the position of the pier through proper road markings.

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