Pavement Markings or Road Markings

Road markings serve as a psychological barrier and crucial component of a roadway, directing and managing traffic.

It also directs pedestrians and bicycles to a safe area, providing a smooth and orderly flow of traffic and increasing road safety.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • Purpose of road markings.
  • Types of road markings.
  • Merits and Demerits of road markings.
  • Lots more.

So, if you’re ready to go with road markings or road striping, this article is for you.

Let’s dive right in.

What are Road Markings or Pavement Markings?

Road markings are used to manage and guide traffic.

 They are extremely significant on urban highways and crossroads because they increase road safety while also ensuring a smooth and harmonious flow of traffic along guided travel pathways.

They also augment the messages communicated by traffic signs and signals.

In other circumstances, they are utilized just to transmit a regulation, information, or warning that would otherwise be ineffectively communicated to road users.

Purpose of Road Markings:

  • Road surface markers are devices placed on the road surface to communicate relevant data.
  • On paved roads, road surface markings are being used to guide and inform cars and pedestrians.
  •  The uniformity and standardization of the markers are critical in reducing misunderstandings and doubts regarding their meaning.
  •  They assist to reduce accidents and the number of people needed to regulate traffic.
  • To control and manage traffic on a roadway while also functioning as a psychological barrier.
  • To channel the movement of people and bikes into a safe spot.
  • They must provide the necessary information to the driver without diverting his attention away from the road, and the following fundamental conditions must be met:
    • Daytime visibility (whiteness/contrast).
    • Night visibility is also known as reflectivity.
    • Wet night visibility (humidity/rain/fog).
    • Non-slip.
Pavement Markings

Colour Pattern for Road Markings or Pavement Markings:

White: White should be frequently utilized for road markings due to its visibility and high contrast against the road surface.

Blue: Longitudinal markings are used to communicate the message “do not cross the marks.” It is used to display parking limits and to enforce other forms of traffic control.

Yellow: Indicate new and unique markers that are not standard. The colour of public transit including three-wheelers, scooters, and rickshaws is blue.

Green: Distinguish between a bicycle and non-motorized transportation facilities on the road.

The crossroads should be designated with a green backdrop to give bikes and pedestrians priority while crossing the road.

Red: When several road users share a hazardous location’s road space, the red colour marker is primarily utilized to let people comprehend the danger.

Red marking is strongly recommended at dangerous crossroads as well as areas where pedestrians and motorized traffic collide.

Types of Road Markings or Pavement Markings:

There are two types of road markings: carriageway markings and object markings.

Carriageway Markings:

Carriageway markers are divided into two types: Longitudinal and transverse making.

1. Longitudinal Markings:

Longitudinal markings are put on the highway surface along the direction of traffic to indicate to the driver his appropriate location on the route.

Lines might be solid, fractured, or double solid. Broken lines have a permissive personality that allow for discretionary crossing if the traffic condition allows.

Solid lines have a restricted nature and do not permit crossing except to enter or depart a side road or premises or to avoid a stationary barrier.

Longitudinal lines are provided to separate traffic flow in the same direction, with white being the predominant color utilized.

The color yellow is used to differentiate traffic flows in opposing directions as well as the pavement borders.

Double solid lines signify severe limits that should not be crossed unless absolutely necessary.

A mix of solid and fractured lines is also possible If the combination’s broken lines are nearer to the path of motion, a solid line can be crossed with caution.

Vehicles coming from opposing directions are not allowed to cross the line.

The Centreline, Traffic lanes, no passing areas, caution lines, Border or edge lines, Bus Lane markings, and cycle road markings are all examples of longitudinal markings.

Types of Longitudinal Markings:

Centreline: The centre line divides competing traffic flows and improves their passage.

The centre line may be indicated with a single broken line, a single solid line, a double broken line, or a double solid line, depending on the road and traffic circumstances.

Traffic lanes: Usually, traffic lane lines should be single broken lines. They must be 100 mm wide.

No passing zones: No passing zones are developed on highways with no central median and traffic allowed in both directions, as well as on three-lane roads where overtaking manoeuvres is forbidden due to heavy traffic on the opposite side.

Border or edge lines: Pavement edge lines are used to designate the boundaries of carriageways that do not have curbs.

Bus Lane markings: The bus lanes should be marked on the roadway with a white line to indicate that they are reserved lanes without physical separation.

Cycle lane markings: When a segment of a roadway that is utilized by motor vehicles is designated for only bicycles to use, bicycle lane markings should be present.

2. Transverse Markings:

The width of transverse markings, which run parallel to the direction of traffic, should be greater than that of longitudinal markings.

 They are designated at junctions and intersection approaches.

The type of road marking at a certain intersection is determined by numerous factors such as traffic speed, available space, and so on.

On approaches to intersections, there are many markings, such as stop lines, give way lines, pedestrian and bicycle crossings, speed change lane markings, direction arrows, and protected right, rotaries, and left-turn lanes.

Types of Transverse Markings:

Stop lines: The stop line denotes the point beyond which cars should not go when commanded to halt by traffic police, traffic lights, or other traffic control equipment.

Pedestrian crossings: Pedestrians crossing the roadway only at designated locations reduce confusion.

Bike crossings: Cycling crossings of the road should be provided in carefully chosen areas.

Directions arrows: Arrows of various speeds are to be considered. In each lane, four arrows should be utilized in order.

Rotaries: To improve visibility, paint the curbs of the central and channelizing islands with 500 mm wide vertical black and yellow lines.

3. Object Marking:

Physical obstacles in a highway, such as traffic islands, or obstructions near the carriageway, such as signal posts, piers, and so on. 500 mm wide stripes to increase visibility.

There are different kinds of object markings:

4. Hazard Marking:

The hazard markers aid in important vehicle operations such as traffic merging/diverging, forbidding cross-overs, and redirecting traffic ahead of dangerous circumstances.

These are often done with chevron and diagonal marking, hatch marking, and prohibitor marking.

A suitable sign must always accompany the hazard marking.

5. Block Marking:

Road markings are made in units such as zebra crossings for walkers and triangles and verified markings for speed breakers.

The accessibility and quality of block markings are crucial.

The use of thermoplastic paint for block marking differs from that of longitudinal marking.

A suitable sign must always accompany the hazard marking.

6. Arrow Marking:

The arrows painted on the roadway are intended to direct drivers to make mandatory turns.

The use of thermoplastic paint for block marking differs from that of longitudinal marking.

A suitable sign must always accompany the hazard marking.

7. Directional Marking:

The term message that is directed is defined as directional marking.

Some directive terms include: slow, stop, exit only, school, and speed limit.

8. Facility Marking:

Facility markings are marks that are meant to make parking easier for automobiles.

Advantages of Road Markings or Pavement Markings:

  1. The road marking is simple to set that does not require any additional equipment.
  2. Marking is more durable with a service life of 5 to 8 years depending on the traffic situation.
  3. It may have a strong retro-reflectivity.
  4. Marking is environmentally friendly that causes no harm to the local environment and people.

Disadvantages of Road Markings or Pavement Markings:

  1. The initial expense of pavement markings is greater.
  2. It may not be appropriate for old roads in bad condition.
Also read:  Types of Roads | Sight Distance | Types of Pavement


There are regular challenges with safe and smooth traffic flow due to a lack of uniform, effective road markings.

As a result, identical standardized road markings on all roadways are required.

It is also critical to designing a system for maintaining or repainting road markings on a regular basis, according to a time cycle.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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