What Is This Yellow Road Marking?

Have you seen this yellow road marking before?

Let’s analyse it

Assume you are driving a vehicle on the left half of the road, with the white bakkie on the right-hand side, facing you – an ‘oncoming vehicle’.

Note: If that white vehicle is parked – as it appears to be – and it is not an emergency situation, it would be regarded as parked illegally because it is in a non-urban area and not parked off the roadway and at least 1 metre from the edge of the roadway.

But, back to the road markings…

  • The white broken line running down the center of the roadway is a Dividing line. It divides a two-way traffic road into two halves, each half carying traffic moving in the opposite direction from the traffic on the other half. So far, so good.
  • Opposite the white bakkie, on your left of the dividing line is a solid white No Overtaking line which prohibits a driver on the left side of the dividing line from crossing or touching the solid line in order to overtake.
  • A No Overtaking line is also painted on the opposite side of the dividing line, meaning that any vehicles approaching from the front of you are likewise not allowed to touch the solid No Overtaking line on their side of the dividing line in order to overtake. So, no vehicles are allowed to overtake at that section of the roadway, because it is obvious that they would not be able to do so without touching the solid white No Overtaking line on their side of the diving line.
  • Further down the road, near the bend in the road, you will see that the sold white line on your side of the dividing line comes to an end. This indicates that overtaking is no longer forbidden for you, provided that it would be safe to overtake. Oncoming vehicles, however, are not permitted to cross the solid line on their side of the dividing line in order to overtake.
  • This brings us to the yellow line running between the two No Overtaking lines. Technically, that section of the markings represents a Painted Isaland marking. (It certainly does seem unusual to have such a painted island on a stretch of non-urban road like that, where there is no visble intersection or other feature visible in the photo to suggest that the rules of a painted island must apply here. The rules for a painted island are that:
    • You are not allowed to drive across or stop on a painted island marking.

Without having access to the road layout further back, behind the camera, one can only assume that the painted island marking was used in order to convert the two No Overtaking line markings to a No Crossing marking, which has even stricter rules than the No Overtaking line. (See this blog post for more details about the No Overtaking and No Crossing lines.)

Any comments from Transport officials?

If any experts in the Department of Transport or roads engineering departments would like to offer a different explanation, I’d welcome hearing from you via the Contact page.


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