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Yellow lines are road markings used in various territories. Contents. 1 Single yellow lines . A double solid yellow line means passing is not allowed under any.
Table of contents
- California Driver Handbook - Lane Control
- Choosing A Lane
- Barry P Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation
- Lane-splitting isn’t a license to cross solid, double yellow lines – Orange County Register
A left turn from the next lane may be made if signs or arrows show it is okay. Right turn. The station wagon is turning correctly. It began the turn in the lane nearest the right-hand curb. It will end the turn in the lane nearest the right-hand curb. Do not swing wide into another lane of traffic. You may start a right turn from other than the far right lane only where pavement or overhead markings show that using that lane for a right turn is permitted.
Left turn from a two-way street into a one-way street. Start the turn from the far left-hand portion of your side of the road. You may turn into any lane that is safely open, as shown by arrows. Left turn from a one-way street into a two-way street. The pickup truck may turn into either of the lanes that is safely open, as shown. Left turn from a one-way street into a one-way street. The turn must be started from the left hand portion of the road. Watch for bicycles between your vehicle and the curb because they can legally use the left turn lane for their left turns.
Right turn from a one-way street into a one-way street. After starting your turn in the far right lane, you may use any lane open to traffic, if safe to do so. Turn at a "T" intersection from a one-way into a two-way street. Through traffic has the right-of-way. You may turn either right or left from the center lane. Watch for vehicles and bicycles inside your turn. When you make a U-turn, you turn around and go back the way you came. Signal and then make the turn only from the far left lane on your side of the road.
If the street has a center left turn lane, begin your U-turn in that lane. You may cross a double yellow line to make a U-turn, if the turn can be made safely and legally. At an intersection, you may make a U-turn on a green light or green arrow unless a "No U-turn" sign is posted. Before you make a U-turn on a divided highway, be sure you won't drive over or across any dividing section, curb, or strip.
This includes:. Never make a U-turn on a highway by crossing a curb, or strip of land, or two sets of double lines. Never use a fire station driveway to turn around. Freeway lanes as well as some city street lanes which are ending will usually be marked by large broken lines painted on the pavement. If you are driving in a lane marked with these broken lines, be prepared for the lane to end or to exit the freeway. Look for a sign to tell you what to do i. Footnote: Remember the scene in Backdraft where the firefighters break the windows of a car parked in front of a hydrant and run the hose through the car?
Apparently, from the photo below, it happens in real life as well. Don't let this be you! When parallel parking on a street, it is illegal to park facing oncoming traffic. Lots of folks do it, though, especially in residential neighborhoods. But it's illegal because it's generally unsafe for several reasons. First of all, to park facing traffic requires one to drive on the wrong side of the road, which is illegal unless overtaking another vehicle or passing an obstruction. And in doing so, pedestrians, cyclists, or other motorists are not likely expecting you to be coming from that direction on that side of the street and may enter the street without looking for you.
Secondly, all cars have reflectors on the rear, but the front of most cars do not have reflectors, so when parking at night, a vehicle facing the wrong was is less visible, especially in low-light conditions. Also, someone approaching a vehicle parked the wrong way in low-visibility conditions may misinterpret which side of the road it's on and attempt to go around it on the wrong side. Also, when leaving a parking space when parked facing traffic, you have to clear traffic from both directions, a more complicated task, especially from a parallel position.
Therefore, you would have to pull your vehicle substantially out of the space and into the traffic lane before being able to see oncoming traffic. But, you say, you park where someone won't park in front of you. Yes, then in that case, this specific reason wouldn't apply. However, the law does not provide that exception, and for good reason-- sure, maybe there's not a place to park in front of you. But what if a car broke down there? Or someone parked illegally there? Not to mention that the other safety reasons mentioned above still apply.
So take the extra 30 seconds to turn around and park facing the right way. Many people, when parked illegally, will switch on their hazard lights flashers. I've heard that they do so to indicate that they're parking for "just a minute" and that they'll be right back. Some even believe it somehow legalizes what they're doing. If the sign says "no parking", then that means no parking.
California Driver Handbook - Lane Control
At all. It doesn't mean "no parking except for a minute or two. So switching on your hazards to say you'll be back in a minute doesn't exempt you from the law. In fact, many parking enforcement officers say that a car with their flashers on is a beacon to them that the car is parked illegally. And, it also tells them that the driver knew they were parking illegally.
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The upshot is that using your flashers when you're illegally parked does not magically make it legal. First, let's talk about the law in this situation. The law requires you to use all your lights including headlights at nighttime, which is defined as being one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise, as well as any time when you cannot see clearly for 1, feet, which essentially covers all inclement weather as well as dusk and dawn.
Therefore, you should never be driving with just your parking lights on. If you're in a situation where you need to have any lights on at all, then you must use all your lights, which includes your headlights. Some people will say that they don't want to use their headlights during bad weather or at dusk because there's enough ambient light for them to see and their headlights won't be illuminating anything.
However, headlights are not only for lighting-up the road ahead for you to see, but they also make you more visible to other drivers. Headlights are visible at a greater distance than parking lights alone. This is why motorcycles and emergency vehicles always use their headlights and is also the rationale behind daytime running lamps see below for more discussion on DRLs.
So whenever visibility is reduced, you should use your headlights, if not to help you see but to help others see you. Others may argue that using their headlights puts a strain on their electrical system or battery. This is simply not true. Your vehicle's electrical system is designed to operate all of the vehicle's electrical devices, including the headlights. Your battery is only used to start your car and to power electrical devices in the car when the engine is not running. When your engine is running, the alternator, which is cranked by the engine, is providing power to your vehicle as well as recharging your battery.
If using your headlights does indeed cause electrical problems for your car, then your car is unsafe and needs repair. So what are parking lights for then? They're mostly a relic from before hazard flashers were common. Their purpose was to give your car visibility while stopped on the side of the road. They're essentially obsolete now and many manufacturers have eliminated them. Parking lights are when you can activate the front and rear marker lights without turning-on the headlights see the photo below for an example.
These are intended to make your vehicle more visible while it is parked on the side of a dark road, thus the term " parking lights". However, as discussed above, parking lights mostly obsolete nowadays and many recent model vehicles in the United States are no longer equipped with them. For vehicles that have parking lights, there is typically an third setting or position on the headlight switch-- position 0 is off, position 1 is the parking lights, and position 2 is all the lights including the headlights.
Daytime running lamps are essentially the opposite of parking lights-- they're the headlights illuminated although some vehicles now have a completely separate set of lamps for the DRLs with the front, rear, and side marker lights off and are generally automatically controlled. Parking lights. As you can see above, however, the law is quite straightforward-- you must use a turn signal any time you want to turn or change lanes. There is no exception for turn-only lanes.
The reason is simple: while it may be obvious to you and to the guy behind you that you are in a turn-only lane, it may not be evident to motorists or pedestrians across the intersection or on the intersecting road.
Choosing A Lane
Using your turn-signal clearly indicates to everyone who may need to know that you are are going to turn. Some states waive the requirement to use turn signals if no other vehicles are in the vicinity, but Texas has no such exception. You don' t know what you don't know, so you should always signal in case there's someone nearby you don't see. Imagine you are on a street approaching an intersection with lanes marked like the right hand illustration above. Recently, I have seen an increasing number of people turn from the two center lanes. When there are dedicated turn lanes like those in the right hand example above, those lanes fulfill those roles.
So, for example, if you wanted to turn right from the right hand through lane i. OK, now that we know which lane to turn from, we need to know which lanes we can legally turn into. In Texas, when turning right, you are required to turn both from the right lane as discussed above and into the right lane unless there is an obvious safety reason not to e. When turning left, however, you are permitted to turn into any lane designated for traffic headed in that direction and it is recommended that you pick the lane that interferes least with other traffic.
The exception is if you're turning left from a one-way street onto another one-way street; in that case, you must turn from and into the left lane i. Also, if you are turning from one of two lanes designated for the same turn movement i. And one final word: keep in mind that other people may not always follow the law, so be prepared to yield if necessary, even if you're in the right. Extra tip Good driving habits dictate that you turn into the lane nearest you, so, if you're turning left, you should turn into the left lane if possible.
Center two-way left turn lanes are for use only when preparing to turn left from the main road such as onto a side street or driveway ; they are not to be used as a through lane or to overtake another vehicle. You can also use this lane to make a U-turn where legal. Be sure to only enter the lane just before you are ready to slow down for the turn.
Drivers must use their best judgment and not enter the lane too early or they may be perceived as using it as a through or passing lane. Police officers also have to use their judgment in enforcement and this difference in what may be considered "too far" often results in a citation. Therefore, read the first sentence of this paragraph again. Another question is whether you may use a two-way center left turn lane located upstream of a dedicated left turn lane at an intersection in order to pass traffic stopped in the through lanes if you want to turn at that intersection.
Again, the law does not address this maneuver. If you use it to pass for a relatively short distance, then you're not likely to get cited. But if you're passing a long line of vehicles, you could get cited, especially if you're whizzing by at a high rate of speed or your action interferes with someone wanting to make an opposing left turn. The upshot: I would avoid doing it for more than a couple hundred feet or so.
The Federal Highway Administration's "Read Your Road" guide link at the bottom of this page indicates that, when turning from a side street or driveway onto the main road, you may also use this lane as a temporary refuge to wait for traffic to clear as long as you pull into the lane and wait and don't use the center turn lane as an acceleration lane.
However, it is important to note that Texas law does not seem to specifically permit this action nor prohibit it for that matter , and I have had reports that some folks have been cited for doing this and the court has upheld their citation, so I would recommend avoiding this maneuver unless you absolutely have to, and if you do, absolutely do not use the center turn lane as an acceleration lane! Finally, although section b 1 above says you can use the center lane for passing, keep in mind that center lanes marked as left turn lanes cannot be used for passing as the traffic signs and pavement markings indicating that the lane is for left turns only take precedence.
An operator may not drive on or from a limited-access or controlled-access roadway except at an entrance or exit that is established by a public authority. It is illegal to drive across any median. If you want to get onto the frontage road, get off at the next exit. Crossing medians is rife with hazards to you, your car, and other drivers, and many times you won't gain much if any advantage doing so anyway.
Also be sure to see the section about "flush median islands" in the lane markings section above. Similar to driving across the median, it is also illegal to cross private property for the purpose of turning left or right from one road to another. In other words, it's illegal to cut-through that gas station or shopping center on the corner so you don't have to stop at the stop sign or red light or to avoid the line of cars waiting at the intersection. An operator on an access or feeder road of a limited-access or controlled-access highway shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle entering or about to enter the access or feeder road from the highway or leaving or about to leave the access or feeder road to enter the highway.
This law is quite simple: if you're on the frontage road aka access road, feeder road, service road, or gateway of a freeway or expressway, then you must yield to traffic exiting the freeway or expressway and coming onto the frontage road. If you see this, though, be extra careful as the person may have left their turn signal on from a previous turn and actually wants to enter the freeway.
Also keep an eye out for traffic behind them who may want to enter the freeway. This law covers all entrance and exit ramps, even if there are no yield signs. When required to yield, though, note that yielding does not necessarily mean stopping see next topic below. There is an exception of sorts: When traffic exiting the freeway has its own added lane that is separated from the other frontage road lanes with a double white line, then no yield is required. This is because the double white line requires exiting vehicles to enter and become established in their own lane on the frontage road.
Therefore, when they reach the point at which they can move into the other frontage road lanes, they're no longer exiting the freeway, which means Instead, it's just a normal lane change at that point and is regulated accordingly.
See diagram below. Some people write me to ask for the statute where this exception is granted-- well, there is none. Instead, the "exception" in this case is the legal outcome of the added lane, double white lines, and the resultant traffic flow. The double white line means that exiting traffic cannot legally conflict with traffic already on the frontage road at the point where the ramp and frontage road intersect.
As a result, there is no intersecting traffic that would require someone to yield like there is at locations that don't use this configuration. It's worth noting, however, that if you cross the double white lines into the exit lane and interfere with traffic exiting the freeway, you could be cited for violating And if you're exiting and cross the double white lines, that violation would make you at fault for any resulting collision.
There's a reason for having two different signs. Instead, a yield sign means that you must give the right-of-way to other traffic by slowing or stopping as necessary. If you can clearly see nobody is coming, then you can just proceed without slowing excessively or stopping. So, if you're approaching a yield sign, start looking early and if the way is clear, just keep going. That said, the opposite is also true: if it is necessary to provide a clear path for the other driver, you are indeed required to stop at a yield sign.
Footnote Unfortunately, in many areas, it often seems that yield signs are placed where there should be stop signs and vice-versa. Europe overwhelmingly prefers yield signs; the US is ridiculously riddled with unnecessary stop signs. Never, ever back-up on the freeway, even on the shoulder! Besides being illegal, this is extremely dangerous!
Traffic is coming toward you at high-speed, and if you're backing-up, you're essentially going the wrong way and risk the equivalent of a head-on collision. If you miss your exit, just drive to the next exit, turn around, and go back. In most cases, you'll only lose a couple of minutes. Next time, make sure you know where you're going and pay attention to the signs. Have you ever been caught in a traffic jam only to find that it was caused by a minor fender-bender blocking a lane and everyone is standing around waiting for the police?
Maybe you've thought to yourself, "there oughta be a law Well, there is. The law requires that anyone involved in an accident not obstruct traffic any more than is necessary. The law even specifically requires that, if an accident occurs on a freeway or freeway ramp in a metropolitan area and all involved vehicles can be safely driven, the motorists involved must move their vehicles off of the freeway immediately.
This is to help prevent a traffic hazard and resulting congestion which, besides unnecessarily delaying others, also increases the likelihood of other accidents. Many people think that their insurance won't cover them if they move their cars from the scene before the police arrive, but this is absolutely false. The police and insurance adjusters can usually determine what happened based on the stories of those involved and the damage to the vehicles.
Besides, in the case of most fender-benders, you legally don't even need to have the police come to the scene. But if you're worried, then quickly snap some photos of the scene and vehicles with your cell phone camera before you move out of the way. A common question I get, especially for newcomers to Texas, is whether it is legal to drive on the shoulder of a two-lane highway to allow other cars to pass as they have seen people doing. The answer is yes, it is, as declared in a 5 above. You'll find that many long-time Texans will automatically move onto the shoulder when a faster car comes up behind them on a two-lane road.
It's just a common courtesy and helps the other person to pass them safely. However, there are some requirements to do this-- the shoulder must be wide enough and free of debris or stalled or parked vehicles it is generally illegal to park on highways outside of business or residential districts. If you do move onto the shoulder to allow someone to pass, reduce your speed a bit, keep a sharp eye out for any obstructions ahead, and move back into the main through lane as soon as it is safe to do so. You are also allowed to briefly drive on the shoulder to pass a vehicle that is slowing or has stopped in the main lane to turn left or has stalled.
Additionally, you can also drive on the shoulder to slow down to turn right, to speed up after turning onto the highway or after having stopped on the shoulder, or to avoid a collision duh. You are not allowed to drive on the shoulder to overtake another moving vehicle except as provided above.
In other words, if the vehicle you are following will not move onto the shoulder to allow you to pass, then you must pass them on the left when it's legal and safe to do so. Using the shoulder to turn right in heavy traffic One other frequent question is about using the shoulder to pass a long line of stopped traffic if you want to turn right at a driveway or the next intersection. Section a 4 above, on its face, does seem to allow for this. The main sticking point is the phrase "if that operation is necessary".
The statute doesn't define what "necessary" is. However, there is case law that addresses this specifically. In Lothrop v. The State of Texas , the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals which is the supreme court in Texas for criminal cases ruled that "necessary" had to be taken in context of the seven permissible reasons to drive on the shoulder. In other words, if you have to drive on the shoulder to pass a vehicle stopped in the main lane as opposed to passing them on the left, for example , then that qualifies as "necessary". The other stipulation is that the maneuver be done "safely".
Again, the law does not define this specifically, so it's open to interpretation. Typically, if there is no collision, then that could be considered prima facie evidence that it was done safely. A more affirmative defense would be that the driver ensured the shoulder was clear of obstructions and that they drove slowly.
My recommendation would be 20 mph-- if it's considered safe for a school zone, it's certainly safe enough for passing stopped vehicles. Those all seem like good reasons to me to get a ticket. But some officers and departments will always cite for this and leave it to a judge to decide. In short, while statutory and case law seems to allow this, it still seems to be a bit of a gray area in some jurisdictions, so YMMV and you should do this at your own risk.
Unless traffic on the freeway is completely stopped or you can't merge and there is no place else for you to go, do not ever stop on a freeway entrance ramp! This is an extremely serious traffic hazard. Drivers behind you are speeding-up to get up to freeway speed and are looking back up the freeway for a gap to merge into. They are not expecting you to stop! If you can't squeeze into traffic by the time you get to the end of the ramp, make sure your left turn signal is on and carefully continue on the shoulder if it's clear until you can safely merge into the traffic stream.
Be helpful to traffic entering the freeway If you're in the right lane of a freeway and see traffic preparing to merge, move over or make room for them to merge into.
Barry P Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation
This very action killed a mother and van full of children west of Ft. Before I explain this one, let me ask you this: where is the fastest water in a river? In the middle, of course. Because this is the place with the least friction. This is the deepest part of the river and there are no ragged edges or shallow bottom to slow the water. A highway conceptually works the same way think of it as a two-way river. The right lane has the most "friction": entering and exiting traffic, stalled vehicles on the shoulder, etc.
The left lane has virtually no friction. That is why it is reserved for faster-moving traffic. Imagine this scenario: you're in the left lane on the freeway going faster than other traffic and you come up behind someone going a little slower than you. Instead of waiting a few seconds for them to move over, you whip around them on the right. At the same time, someone going much slower than you is trying to get on the freeway at the same location. Now, both of you are creating a big hazard for each other and someone is going to have to give. This is why a you shouldn't pass on the right; and b you should move to the right if you're traveling slower than other traffic.
The second part applies no matter how fast you are going. Notice that the law only says that traffic moving "more slowly" than other vehicles; there is no exception given for vehicles traveling the posted speed limit. If you're going the speed limit in the left lane and someone behind you wants to go faster, move over!
You don't have any right to enforce the law that's called vigilantism , and you're actually violating the law by not moving over. You never know-- that person may have a bona fide emergency okay, probably not, but you never know. On the other hand, if you're the one behind the slower driver, have a little patience and give them a few seconds to realize you're there and to move over before you zip around them.
I can't count the number of times I've seen someone in the left lane who wanted to move over but got trapped there because everyone immediately passed them on the right. Plus, the weaving of drivers who are constantly passing other vehicles causes hazards and the turbulence caused by those frequent lane changes is a frequent cause of so-called "phantom" traffic jams. On a roadway divided into three or more lanes and providing for one-way movement of traffic, an operator entering a lane of traffic from a lane to the right shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle entering the same lane of traffic from a lane to the left.
This is probably one of the least-known laws. When someone from the left lane and someone from the right lane both try to move into the same space in the center lane at the same time, who should yield the the right-of-way?
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In Texas, the law is that the person changing lanes from right to left must yield to someone trying to enter the same lane from the left. The reason why the left lane driver has priority is because the they may be moving over to allow another vehicle to pass, because they're getting ready to exit, or because they have an emergency and need to move to the shoulder. If you need to get across several lanes, move over one lane, establish yourself in that lane for a few seconds, then move over to the next lane. Additional information A study by the Federal Highway Administration back in the '90s determined that the formula used to calculate the advisory speeds on curves, which was developed back in the s, was significantly outdated and was producing advisory speeds that were mph below what modern vehicles can safely and comfortably handle.
New methods and procedures for improving the setting of advisory speeds have been developed and many states are now updating advisory speed signs. If you are used to ignoring advisory speeds because they seemed too low, you'll need to start paying more attention to them. Which Wurzbach? Traffic signal cameras Germany. Privacy information. This subsection does not prohibit a driver from crossing pavement striping, or the center line in a no-passing zone marked by signs only, to make a left turn into or out of an alley or private road or driveway.
In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. In the absence of a crosswalk, the operator shall stop at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. The right to proceed is subject to the rules applicable after stopping at a stop sign.
A vehicle that is not turning shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown. After stopping, standing until the intersection may be entered safely, and yielding right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully in an adjacent crosswalk and other traffic lawfully using the intersection, the operator may: 1 turn right; or 2 turn left, if the intersecting streets are both one-way streets and a left turn is permissible.
This subsection does not apply where a local ordinance otherwise regulates stopping or parking on the one-way roadway. How to turn left when median is 30 feet wide or wider. How to turn left when a median is less than 30 feet wide. No yield required on frontage road when exiting traffic has its own lane separated by a double-white line Note that there must be a double white line for the exception above to apply.
Lane-splitting isn’t a license to cross solid, double yellow lines – Orange County Register
If the exiting traffic has its own lane, but that lane is not separated from the others by a double white line, then the yield law still applies. This is because in that situation, the exiting traffic is not required to enter the added lane and could immediately cross into any of the other frontage road lanes. These potential conflicts have resulted in this configuration being deprecated by TxDOT. In the absence of a crosswalk, the operator shall stop at a clearly marked stop line. In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.
Texas highways primer. Texas traffic laws. Search this site. This site is not affiliated with any official agency. This page last updated September 13, Lane markings. The officially-sanctioned meaning for lane markings is not in the Transportation Code. If you're to the left of a yellow line and you're not intentionally passing somebody, you'd better get over to the right FAST before you see the head ornament of a Mack truck directly in front of you.
I see this confusion happen a lot when city folks get off on a rural, two-way frontage road. There are various types of yellow lines; see below for the specifics of each. Even if you think you can see far enough ahead, there may be some other hazard or reason that you can't see that makes it unsafe for you to pass. However, it is legal to turn left across a double yellow line with one exception; see sidebar below. The use of this marking to mark the center of a two-way road is non-standard and has no official meaning.
Traffic on the side of the road with the broken dashed line is allowed to pass. Two sets of these, with the broken lines facing each other, are used to demarcate two-way center left turn lanes. Pay attention to and obey the lane control signs or signals. There are several varieties of white lines; see below for the meanings of each. Doing so may be dangerous or interrupt the smooth flow of traffic. In Texas, you'll most often see these where an exit ramp continues into its own lane on the frontage road see the "Yielding on frontage roads" section below.
You can cross it if you have to, but you should avoid it if possible. Even a thick single white line can be crossed if necessary; however, they are really discouraging you from crossing, so you should think twice about it. A single white line is also used to mark the right edge of the roadway or separate the right shoulder from the through lane. Short broken lines are also used to mark lanes through an intersection.
Yellow traffic signal. F lashing yellow signals.