Can you cross a solid white line while driving? (2023)

Until you travel abroad, you might not think much about traffic rules. But did you know that while we drive on the right side of the road and keep to the right, some countries have a left-hand rule? The driver's seat and steering wheel could also be on the wrong side! But can you cross a solid white line on a street? 90% of the time, no, but it depends. Let's read between the lines.

Can you cross a solid white line?

Understand lane markings

Streets are usually marked withwhite or yellow lines. It can be one solid line, a series of dashes, or even a double line. Typically, white lines show traffic traveling in the same direction, while yellow lines mark lanes traveling in opposite directions. If the line is dotted, you can legally cross it to change lanes, but a solid line generally means no crossing.

But again this is not set in stone as you may have to cross a yellow line when taking a turn or parking your car. Normally, when changing lanes or overtaking, you would have to cross a line – yellow or white. However, overtaking on some roads can be particularly risky, so you'll see solid yellow lines that you shouldn't cross if you care about road safety.

Elsewhere, the road has only one lane in each direction, making it impossible to overtake without crossing into the oncoming lane. Streets like these probably have dotted lines instead of solid lines, since there's no way to use the street without going into the "oncoming traffic" lane. Youhave to drive more carefullyto avoid head-on collisions. Make sure noAutoscome!

Where would you find onesolid white linealthough? Most roads have a solid white line next to the curb or near the edge of the road. This line is designed to protect pedestrians as someone could be knocked over when crossing! The curb will keep you in position as it will graze your tires if you try to cross it. But this barrier is not always available.

Rural Driving Rules

If you are driving in a wooded area or on a country road, the sides of the road may have trees or rocky terrain. In such cases, theSolid white line could protect your car. Without them, you could drive into sharp debris, logs, or even wildlife, so you should probably avoid crossing. But if that edge marker is dotted, then that's a safe place for emergency vehicles to stop.

Likewise, pedestrian lanes and bike lanes are usually marked with solid white lines, and you should never cross them when driving. But even on routes with solid lines - white or yellow - you will find sections with broken lines or gaps. They mark the places where it is safe and legal to get out, change lanes or overtake. Highways often have solid lines near exits.

The carpool lane might have one too. In such cases, thesolid white line markersa thoroughfare – the lane that leads straight ahead. So, cars in the exit lane should not cross onto the highway, and cars on the thoroughfare are not allowed to cross onto the side lane. These solid white lines turn into dotted lines at the precise exit or entry point. It prevents side impacts from both lanes.

You may be on what appears to be a quiet, empty street, but it still has a solid white double line. Or maybe it has double solid yellow lines, sometimes with a black line in between. These markings indicate risky roads where crossing the line, regardless of color, can be fatal. The doubling is an additional red flag, so ignoring it is both illegal and unsafe!

lines, dots and dashes

White lines mean you are on a one-way street, while yellow lines indicate oncoming traffic. Within the US, yellow lines can also mark the left edge of the road, while white lines can mark the right edge. If the lines are broken, you can cross. But if they're solid, stay on your lane. You may see a solid white line near a junction. Do not cross this line when boarding or disembarking.

What happens when a solid yellow line is paired with a broken line? Well, if the broken line is on your side, you can cross it. But if it's on the other side, don't cross it. These solid lines are a safety measure and alert you that it is unwise to change lanes at this point. Solid lines are common on roads with many sharp bends, where overtaking can be deadly.

In another example, the road might have dotted and solid lines, but both are white. You can (with care) cross when you are on the dotted side of the line, but you should never cross from the solid side of the white line. And when all the white lines are solid, don't overtake or change lanes on that stretch of road, even if those white lines show the same direction of traffic.

In freeway scenarios, solid white lines mean "Turn only, no overtaking!" So you can cross the line at designated turns, but you can't legally cross it when going straight. In most cases, crossing a solid white line isn't illegal - it's just not a good idea. But if you're spotted crossing double white lines (or double yellow lines), you'll end up in a traffic court!

Give way... or maybe left?

Ifyou drive, yellow and white lines are not the only road markings. You will see road signs and other directions, so balance them. For example, special lanes such as school crossings may have a mix of recognizable styles and colors in their road markings. Certain US states have pavement marking patterns specific to that location.

Let's talk about the steering wheel positions. You may have thought that left-hand drive cars are for left-handers. That's not necessarily true. It's not about your dominant hand. It really depends on which side of the road you're driving. If there is right-hand traffic in your country, then the steering wheel is on the left. This happens to most American and European drivers.

But in many Commonwealth countries - once colonized by Britain - motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road, which means their steering wheels are on the right-hand side most of the time. Today, 163 countries drive on the right and 76 countries drive on the left. But one cannot always generalize. Japan drives on the left while China drives on the right, so it's best to check specific states.

When driving on the highway, you will see many white lines and other traffic lights. As this is an expressway with extremely fast drivers, you need to be extra careful. You can switch between the lanes with dotted lines, but don't zoom over solid white lines. And you should be even more careful when driving a high-occupancy vehicle at these speeds.

lanes and crossed wires

Driving on the left or right side of the road affects how and when you turn your car. So can you cross a solid white line on the road? No, unless you are entering or exiting the street. But when overtaking you cannot cross solid white lines. These solid lines mean that you cannot change lanes at this point for any reason. So wait for a turn or section with broken lines.

Is your car right or left hand drive? Tell us what you prefer (and why) in the comments!

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Can you pass through a solid white line? ›

It is legal, although "discouraged," to cross a single solid white line. It is illegal to cross double white lines on or off the interstates. All states, including Colorado, follow the guidance for roadway markings from the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

What is a solid white line mean? ›

Solid white lines define lanes of traffic going in the same direction, or they show you the location of the shoulder of the road. Broken or “dotted” white lines are used to show the center line between lanes. • Yellow lines show you where traffic is going in different directions.

Can you cross a solid white line California? ›

No, You Cannot Legally Cross Over the Double White Lines

California Vehicle Code Section 21460 (b) makes it clear that you cannot cross over the double white lines.

Can you cross solid white line in Oregon? ›

Wide solid white line

Used to direct traffic into specific lanes, such as turn lanes, and to separate bike lanes from other traffic lanes. Crossing a wide solid white line is permitted but discouraged.

What does a solid white line on the side of the road mean? ›

Lines running alongside or parallel to the road you are travelling on have different meanings. A thick solid white line at the side of the road is used to indicate its edge. A centre line is a broken into mid-sized pieces and marks the middle of the road.

What do the white lines mean on the road? ›

White Lines

Lines that travel along the road (longitudinal) inform and warn drivers of approaching situations that will need them to do something - like turn right, or do not cross. Lines that cross the road (transverse) give instructions to road users like 'give way' or 'stop'.

What does a continuous white line mean? ›

When there is a solid white line in the middle of the road with no breaks, it means that no one can overtake at any time or perform a U-turn. All traffic must stick to the left of the line. Occasionally, you may see two white lines in the middle of the road - one solid and one broken.

Why is it a violation to cross a solid white line? ›

A solid white line in the middle of the road is a no overtaking line. You may not cross it in order to overtake. Where the solid line changes to a broken white line, it becomes a dividing line to separate two streams of traffic travelling in opposite directions.

What is the solid white line law in California? ›

Do not drive on or over this barrier, make a left turn, or a U-turn across it, except at designated openings (see diagram). Solid white lines mark traffic lanes going in the same direction, such as one-way streets.

How much is a ticket for crossing a solid white line in California? ›

The fine for violation of California vehicle code section 21460 b is $234. The DMV point for violation of section 21460b is 1 point. Basically, it is a violation of section 21460 b vc to drive a vehicle to the left of parallel solid white lines with a few exceptions.

When can you legally cross double solid white lines? ›

You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear) to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10 mph or less (Rule 129).

Is it illegal to cross the center line to pass when approaching? ›


You may cross the center line for passing when there are no oncoming vehicles and no solid yellow line.

What is the solid white line on the right side of the road called? ›

The solid white line on the right side is called the 'fog line' used to help cars stay in their lane during foggy conditions and help pedestrians stay off the road.

What does the continuous white line dividing the lanes mean? ›

A single unbroken white line separates the S-shaped lanes. You must not cross this line when turning into an S-lane. You must not cross the unbroken line to turn into an S-lane.

What does this white line mean? ›

WHITE LINES painted on the pavement indicate traffic traveling in your direction. Broken White Line: you may change lanes if it is safe to do so. Solid White Line: requires you to stay within the lane and also marks the shoulder of the roadway.

What are the 2 white lines on the road? ›

Double white lines are used to inform drivers of a hazard and where a continuous solid white line is present, prohibit drivers from overtaking as it is too hazardous to do so. Double white lines also to separate opposing traffic flows on steep hills with climbing lanes.

When should you avoid a solid white line? ›

A solid white line between lanes of traffic means that you should stay in your lane unless a special situation requires you to change lanes. "Special situations" include moving from an HOV lane to the adjacent general-purpose lane and, in some circumstances, merging out of an exit-only lane during heavy traffic.

Are white lines enforceable? ›

Vehicle access markings (VAM), 'H' bars or 'dog bones' are white lines painted onto the road to draw attention to a driveway or vehicle access. These white lines are advisory only and have no legal standing.

Does a solid line mean no overtaking? ›

Double white solid lines in the middle of a carriageway mean you and oncoming traffic are not allowed to overtake, or to straddle the lines.

What is the difference between a solid white line and a broken white line? ›

A double white line indicates that lane changes are prohibited. A single white line indicates that lane changes are discouraged. A dashed white line indicates that lane changes are allowed. Symbols are used to indicate permitted lane usages.

What does a double white line in the middle of the road mean? ›

Double white lines where both are solid. As per rule 129. These are used to prohibit drivers from travelling in an area of the road used by the opposing flow of traffic, generally because overtaking visibility is restricted and would be dangerous.

Is it illegal to cross a solid white line in Florida? ›

A solid white line marks the edge of the roadway or separates lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. You may travel in the same direction on both sides of this line, but you should not cross the line unless you must do so to avoid a hazard. Double solid white lines indicate that changing lanes is not allowed.

How many points is a HOV violation in CA? ›

A person caught driving in a carpool lane without a passenger will be charged with an infraction under California law. The offense is punishable by a fine of $490.00. Note that a violation does not result in any points being assessed to a driver's DMV record.

How much is a straight pipe ticket in California? ›

You can only take it to the California Bureau of Automotive Repair to get your car's exhaust noise level checked after you get the ticket, and that trip will cost you $108. Once you have the certificate of compliance, you can have the fine waved.

Are you allowed to pass on a solid yellow line? ›

Road markings

If there's a solid yellow line on your side of the road, you must not cross it to overtake. If there's a dashed yellow line it indicates you are coming up on a solid yellow line.

What is the rule to cross the road? ›

You must give way to pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing. This means you must approach the crossing at a speed which will let you stop in time. Not all pedestrians look before they step onto a crossing. So watch out for anyone approaching and be ready to stop.

What actions should you take if a car crosses the centerline? ›

Instead, try to slow down, swerve to the right and honk your horn. Flash your lights if you have time, especially at night. Try to get their attention so that they see the issue and go back to the left. Try to drive onto the shoulder and even into the ditch if it allows you to avoid the crash.

What should you do if an approaching vehicle crosses the center line in your path? ›

Drive to the right.

You will be closer to the shoulder and an escape path in the vent of danger. If you see an oncoming vehicle nearing the center line, begin to brake and drive slightly to the right of your lane. The closer the other vehicle comes to yours, the further right you must move.

Does a solid white line mean no overtaking? ›

This means you may cross the lines to overtake if it is safe, provided you can complete the manoeuvre before reaching a solid white line on your side. White direction arrows on the road indicate that you need to get back onto your side of the road. Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid.

What are solid white lines on a road meant to MN? ›

A solid white line indicates that lane changes are discouraged. Solid white lines also mark crosswalks, stop lines at intersections, parking stalls, and the edges of a roadway.

What do the lines look like when you can pass? ›

Double Yellow Lines: One Solid, One Broken

If the broken line is closer to you, you can cross the broken line only to pass another vehicle and only when it is safe to do so.

Can you cross a solid white line in Maryland? ›

A solid line indicates that you may not change lanes, even though a while line indicates that traffic in those lanes is moving in a similar direction.

When can you cross a continuous white line? ›

When overtaking, never cross a continuous white line. To join a motorway you must give way to traffic already on it.

What line can you not overtake? ›

You must not overtake: if you have to cross or straddle double white lines with a solid line nearest to you (but see rule 129) if you would have to enter an area designed to divide traffic, if it is surrounded by a solid white line.

Can you cross a single white line Minnesota? ›

Pavement markings section of the Minnesota Driver's Manual. It says single solid white lines, like those used to separate lanes in the Lowry Tunnel, mean that lane changes are "discouraged." But they are not illegal, provided the coast is clear.

What is the solid white line on the road called? ›

The solid white line on the right side is called the 'fog line' used to help cars stay in their lane during foggy conditions and help pedestrians stay off the road.

What do solid lines on a highway mean? ›

Yellow lines mean that vehicles on each side of the yellow line must travel in opposite directions. A yellow line should always be on the driver's left side. Solid yellow lines, single or double, indicate that passing is not permitted. Broken yellow lines indicate that passing is permitted.

What kind of lines indicate that you may pass if it is safe? ›

Line Colors

Broken yellow lines indicate that you may pass if the broken line is next to your driving lane. Two solid yellow lines indicate no passing. Never drive to the left of these lines unless you are: In a carpool lane/high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane that has a designated entrance on the left.

What does single solid yellow line mean? ›

A single solid yellow line means that passing is not advised but you may pass, with extreme caution. A single dashed yellow line means passing is allowed. A double solid yellow line means passing is not allowed under any circumstances.

Is it illegal to cross a solid white line in Georgia? ›

These are double white line (dashed or solid) pavement markings on roadways that indicate where vehicles can or cannot cross to access the adjacent lane. When the double white lines are dashed, vehicles are allowed to cross over to the adjacent lane. When the double white lines are solid, lane changes are prohibited.

Are you allowed to cross double solid lines? ›

If you see a double solid yellow line, it means you're in a no-passing zone. Which means it is strictly prohibited to overtake or counter-flow, as doing so is highly likely to result in an accident. You will commonly see this marking on bridges and on blind curves. Do not gamble with anyone's life.


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