Here's what those white and yellow stripes on Indian roads actually mean

Why do some Indian roads have white markings while others have Yellow stripes? Here's what the white and yellow stripes mean

We Indians are always in a hurry. Admit it. People from India start getting up from their seats and take out their bags from the cabin above them the moment the plane lands and even before the seatbelt signal is off. Similarly, Indians are always in a hurry on the road too. While driving, while crossing the road or even while walking. Sad that even then we can’t reach work on time. At least, I can’t.

Indians roads are super chaotic, everyone wants to get ahead which in turns leads to further confusion. Coz well, being patient is not an option. Following the traffic rules and not jumping the red light seems like a task for us.


In this process of finding a way out, we are pretty sure you have noticed white stripe or yellow lines along the road. Chances are you have probably ignored them. Because well, too lazy to Google.

Just so you know that people just don’t randomly waste their time in drawing those perfect lines. They are there for a reason. The road markings that you see on the road are meant to provide guidance for disciplined and safe driving. It helps in regulating the traffic and avoid confusion.  Imagine, how lost we would be, had the roads been plain and without any markings.

Here’s what the different road marking that you see on the roads actually mean:

Broken White Line


This is the most common marking that you see on the roads. It basically means that you may change lanes. You are allowed to overtake a vehicle or take a U-turn of course only after you see that it safe to do so. Also, for once it would be nice if people could give the correct indicator. Don’t give a left indicator if you want to go right pliss.

Solid White Line


This means you CANT overtake the vehicle ahead of you. You are not even allowed to change lanes. You are supposed to drive safely and in a queue, in the lane, you are in. Seems difficult, no?


Single solid yellow line


This also means you are not allowed to overtake the vehicle in front of you. You are not supposed to cross the single solid yellow line. It is mainly used where the visibility is relatively low.

Double solid yellow lines


Double Yellow lines can never be crossed unless to clear a major obstruction. Usually used on 2-lane roads, it’s used to prevent crossing over into the lane with traffic going in the opposite direction.

Broken Yellow Line


This one means that you can overtake the vehicles but with extra caution.

Solid yellow line with broken yellow line


This means that if you are driving on the side of the broken line, you are can overtake, and if you’re driving on the side of the solid line, you’re not allowed to do so.

Stop Line


Stop line indicates where you are required to stop when directed by a traffic officer, traffic light of stop sign. Where a pedestrian crossing is provided, the stop line is marked before the pedestrian crossing.

Yellow Box junctions

Photo: YouTube

Photo: YouTube

Last but not the least, the yellow box junctions. These are yellow zig-zag lines within a box. The vehicles should cross it only if they have a clear space available ahead of the yellow box. In this marked area, vehicles must not stop even briefly. This is mainly done to avoid traffic that also occurs because some intelligent human chose to park his vehicle wherever he/she pleased to do so.

There you have it. Now, you definitely know a lot more than people on the streets happily contribution to the insane traffic as we speak. Drive safe guys.