Road markings

Painted arrows

Arrows are painted on the road to tell you which direction must be taken by traffic in each lane. When more than one direction is shown, you may go in the direction of either arrow.

Illustration of a three lane road at an intersection with a car in each lane and road markings showing the directions cars can travel.

You must signal that you are going to turn even if the lane you are in is only allowed to turn in one direction. When you turn, stay in the same lane as you move from one road to the other.

Dividing lines

Unless a sign tells you otherwise, you can cross any type of dividing line when turning right at an intersection.

Rule for overtaking and road markings

Do not make a U-turn across any single unbroken line or double dividing lines.

Illustration of car driving on a road which is seperated by a broken white line

Broken white dividing lines – can be crossed to overtake if the road ahead is clear.

Illustration of a car following a motorbike on a road with a broken and solid white line. The broken line is on the side that the car and motorbike are travelling on which allows the car to over take if the road ahead is clear

Double white lines with a broken line closer to you – you can cross the lines to overtake if the road ahead is clear.

Illustration of a car following a motorbike on a road with a broken and solid white line. The solid line is on the side that the car and motorbike are travelling which stops the car from overtaking

Double white lines with an unbroken (continuous) line closer to you – you cannot overtake across these lines.

Illustration of three lanes of traffic. One lane is seperated from the other two by a single white unbroken line. Cars in this lane cannot overtake.

Single white unbroken (continuous) line – you cannot overtake across this line.

Illustration of a road seperated by a double white unbroken line. Cars in either lane cannot overtake using the opposite lane

Double white unbroken (continuous) lines – you cannot overtake across these lines.

Painted islands

You must not drive on a section of painted road that is surrounded by double lines.

You can drive on a painted island that is surrounded by single continuous or broken lines for up to 50m to enter or leave the road, or to enter a turning lane that begins immediately after the painted island.

Illustration showing a car incorrectly driving over a painted island which is surrounded by double continuous lines

You must not drive on areas surrounded by double lines.

When you enter a turning lane from a painted island you must give way to any vehicle already in the turning lane or entering the turning lane from another marked lane.

You must not stop on a painted island.

In some instances, such as giving way to emergency vehicles or when avoiding an obstruction, you can drive on a painted island regardless of the type of lines around the island.

Illustration showing car B giving way to car A who is entering a turning lane. Car B is on a painted island surrounded by a broken white line and must give way to car A who is entering a turning lane ahead of car B

Car B must give way to car A (giving way to a vehicle already in the turning lane or entering from another marked lane).

Keep Clear pavement marking

You must not stop between the lines marked across the road. 'Keep Clear' pavement markings may also be used at some T-intersections to prevent queuing across the intersection.

Illustration of keep clear road markings

Edge lines

You can drive on, across or outside edge lines for up to 100m only if you are doing one of the following:

  • stopping
  • overtaking on the inside of vehicles turning right or, in a one way street, overtaking vehicles turning left
  • turning off or onto the road by the shortest route
  • turning left or right at intersections.
  • driving a slow moving vehicle.

Illustration of edge lines on the sides of a T intersection

Audible lines

Audible lines are lines composed of a series of raised pieces of material that create a noise or vibration if driven on by a vehicle.

These lines are used to warn you that you have veered outside your lane.

Kerb lines

These are yellow lines painted near the edge of the road show that there are stopping restrictions and tell you what rules apply to that particular section of road.

Broken yellow kerb line

A broken yellow kerb line is a clearway line.

You must not stop at the edge of the road between the hours shown on the 'Clearway' sign except in a medical or similar emergency.

Buses, taxis and hire cars can only stop to pick up or set down passengers.

Merging lanes

If the line ends before the lanes merge, the vehicle behind must give way to the vehicle in front.

When the lane ends and you have to cross the lines to merge, you must give way.

Illustration of a merging lane with a broken white line that ends before the lane merges. Car A leaves the merging lane ahead of car B who gives way

Car B gives way to car A.

Unbroken (continuous) yellow kerb line

An unbroken yellow kerb line is a 'No Stopping' line.

You must not stop for any reason except a medical or similar emergency.

Illustration of a merging lane with a broken white line that ends when the merging lane ends. Car A in the merging lane gives way to car B before merging

Car A gives way to car B.

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Last updated: 28 November 2017