In order to answer this question of when is it legal to cross a double solid yellow line, let us first imagine a scenario where you are driving your car on a narrow two-lane road. Upon driving a little further, you can see a cyclist enter your view. Now since you are a sensible, responsible and law abiding citizen, you know that the lane is not wide enough, so you cannot possibly pass within it without causing an accident, which is why you slow down.
Furthermore, if your sight lines are restricted, the sensible thing to do is to follow behind the cyclist until they open up. If you arrive at an intersection where there are chances that you would have to stop, then you drive behind the cyclist until you have passed that area. In case of impeding traffic, you typically wait for it to disperse before moving into the oncoming lane,picking up speed, and driving past the cyclist. This will give them enough room to ensure safety and comfort.
After safely crossing the cyclist you can return back to the correct lane and carry on your way. This does not seem like a problem, right? Just some normal routinely driving maneuver. However, have you ever thought of what would happen if a traffic engineer chose to have a double solid yellow line painted down the middle of that road? In such a case would your passing maneuver be a breach of traffic law? What do you do now? Continue reading this article to find out.
What Does A Double Solid Yellow Line Mean?
In a large portion of the United States, a driver isn’t allowed to cross a solid centerline to pass a cyclist when safe. However basically every driver does that, as opposed to following the cyclist at a lower speed. Drivers perceive that r4ecent striping laws for no-passing zones are excessively prohibitive with regards to low-speed vehicles. Numerical examination bears this out, for example, passing a driver (without causing any harm or accident) going at 35 mph on a 45 mph street requires a sight separation 600 feet longer than passing a 15 mph bicyclist on a similar street.
However, the question is whether or not it is legal to cross a double solid yellow line. The answer to that is no and most people tend to get it wrong in written or oral driving tests. Two solid yellow lines down the middle point of a two-way street imply that traffic in each lane on either side of the line cannot cross it, except if they are turning on the street. A driver can cross double solid yellow lines only when going into or out of a carport or trying to get access to a business. Other than that, crossing a double solid yellow line is not permitted.
Double Solid Yellow Lines And Left Turns
As far as double solid yellow lines are concerned, we see them almost everyday, on highways, arterials, and city streets. The basic reason to have these lines painted on roads is to be able to distinguish between lanes of traffic coming from opposite directions.
If you see either solid or double broken yellow lines between lanes of traffic, one cannot pass the solid line if it is on your side. However, if it is the broken line which is on your side, you can cross it when it is safe to do so. Nevertheless, double solid yellow lines between lanes do not permit either side from passing.
The thing is that many drivers already know all of that, but based on a few searches conducted and the queries that people present, many do not know that these double solid yellow lines can be crossed legally when turning left.
What Does A Double Solid White Line Mean?
In simple words, a broken white line means that you can change lanes, provided that it is safe to do so, while a solid white line marks the shoulder of the road and also requires you to remain within.
Can You Cross A Solid White Line?
Most people question if you can cross a solid white line. According to the Highway Code, as far as a single broken white line is concerned, it can permit you to pass by or overtake, whereas with double solid white lines, one can only overtake a stationary vehicle, or one travelling at 10 mph or less. Moreover, it is also legal for drivers to cross over double solid white lines if they have to turn into a property or side on a road, making sure that they do that in a safe and responsible manner.
Section 129 of the Highway Code clearly mentions that in the case of a double solid white line, if it is near you, “you cannot cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjacent grounds, buildings, or a side road”. The code also states that “the line can only be crossed if it is really important, making sure that the road is clear, if one has to cross a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, provided that they are going at a speed of 10 mph or less.”
Moreover, you can also cross over a double white line when the one closer to you is broken, but only if “you can complete the task before reaching a solid white line on your side”.
If it is any other case, drivers are not allowed to cross double white lines.
Abiding by traffic laws is extremely important when it comes to your safety and that of others. There are certain rules and regulations that one needs to follow as a responsible citizen. Double solid yellow lines and double solid white lines are something that we come across in our daily lives. They play an important part in the maintenance and regulation of traffic and drivers should know what they mean. It is important to know the violating traffic laws and breaching rules concerning these lines can result in not just penalty points but also a fine which depends upon the severity of your situation.