Road Marking – Types & Purpose | Pavement Marking Types

Road marking can be defined as lines, patterns, or words that are marked on the pavement or road which is essential for guiding and controlling the traffic on highways and also providing proper guidance to pedestrians.

Usually, one can see a white line on the pavement in various patterns. There are various types of road marking patterns that are marked on the road and each pattern represents a particular function.

Why Is Road Marking Necessary?

Roads without marking may lead to total vehicular confusion.

Road marking helps promote road safety and ensures smooth traffic flow.

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Road marking includes different patterns and different colors, which specify particular functions. 

They are also used for supplementing messages on road signs & other devices.

There are mainly 7 types of road marking, which are classified based on vehicular movement and each pattern’s function. 

Types Of Road Marking

The 7 different types of pavement marking are as follows:

  1. Longitudinal markings
  2. Transverse markings
  3. Arrow markings
  4. Hazard markings
  5. Block markings
  6. Directional markings or Word Messages
  7. Facility markings or Parking

1. Longitudinal Markings

Longitudinal markings are marked or painted in the same direction as traffic on the pavement surface to direct the driver to a proper position on the pavement.

These are generally located parallel and adjoining to the traffic flow and help to separate the traffic flow in the same direction.

The pavement marking must be done while considering its visibility during day and night time, and marking must be distinctly understandable by an individual.

The most commonly used color for marking is White, While Yellow is used for separating the traffic flow in opposite directions and also helps separate pavement edges. The lines marked on the pavement can be either broken, solid, double solid, or dotted.

Longitudinal Road Markings
Longitudinal Markings

1. Broken Lines – Broken lines allow the driver to cross between the lanes with caution.

2. Solid Lines – Solid lines do not allow the drivers to cross between the lanes; only entry at the initial point and exit at the endpoint is allowed.

3. Double Solid – Double solid line indicates the driver must not cross the lanes but can be exempted in case of emergency.

4. Dotted Line – Dotted line provides a warning about route variation ahead

The classification of longitudinal markings is as follows.

  • Centreline
  • Traffic lane lines
  • No passing zones
  • Warnings Lines
  • Edge lines

2. Transverse Markings

Transverse Markings
Transverse Marking

Transverse pavement markings are marked along the direction of traffic where immediate action is required by the driver. Such as 

Stop Line Marking – Stop line must be marked where traffic lanes approach the traffic control devices (traffic signals), indicating the driver to stop the vehicle behind the line whenever required.

Pedestrian Crossing – The pedestrian line indicates the movement or passage of pedestrians and indicates the driver to slow down or stop the vehicle when required.

Directional Arrows – These lines are marked to provide proper direction to the drivers and easy traffic flow.

3. Arrow Markings

Arrow markings are painted on the pavements or roads to provide the right direction to the driver, and they must take or follow these mandatory turns to avoid traffic confusion.

3. Arrow Markings
Arrow Markings

The arrows may have either one or more than one direction.

  • One Direction – The driver must drive in the designated direction.
  • Two Directions – The driver can drive in either direction.

4. Hazard Markings

This marking is used to indicate the driver of a hazard being the junction up ahead. Such as Prohibiting cross-over, changing of lanes, merging, or diverging.

If the driver fails to notice these hazardous lines may have less time to react to the upcoming hazard. Hazard marking is usually marked with hatch marking, and prohibitor marking chevron, and diagonal marking.

Hazard Markings
Hazard Marking

5. Block Markings

Block markings are marked in the form of blocks such as zebra crossing for pedestrians and chequered blocks and triangular blocks for speed breakers. 

These blocks must be marked in such way it is visible to the driver. Compared to the longitudinal marking, the application of thermoplastic paint in block marking differs.

 Block Marking
Block Marking

6. Directional Markings Or Word Messages Marking

Directional markings are the marking that is marked /painted in terms of words so it is easy to understand and allows the driver to take action accordingly. The characters of the message are elongated, so it is visible to the driver looking at a lower angle.

Directional Marking

Some directional marking words are as follows:

  • Stop
  • Slow
  • Exit only
  • School
  • Speed limit
  • Curve ahead 

7. Facility Marking or Parking 

This marking helps facilitate vehicle parking and gives the driver an idea about parking space limits and restrictions. It also prevents encroachment of designated places like Bus stops, fire hydrant Zones, etc.

Parking  Marking

Different Colors Used In The Road Marking

  • White – White mark separates the traffic flow in the same direction.
  • Yellow – Yellow line separates the traffic flow in the opposite direction.
  • Red/Purple – This line is recommended for hazardous junctions.
  • Blue – Blue is generally used for public transportation and dedicated bus lanes.

Type of Material Used For Road Marking

1. Solvent-based or Water-based Paint

Water-based paint is environmentally friendly and less hazardous to workers.

2. Thermoplastic Marking Paint  

It is applied in the form of a hot molten state to the pavement and gets solidified instantly at an ambient temperature. Thermoplastic markings are highly durable and dry at a fast pace.

3. Cold Applied Plastic Paints 

It is best suited for colored pavement marking and it is also more durable when compared to thermoplastic markings. It is also used to provide audible raised pavement marking for edge lines.

4. Preformed Adhesive Tapes

These are available in the form of rolls which are laid on the pre-marked line and rolled for great compaction.

Advantages Of Pavement Marking

It helps avoid traffic confusion and allows an easy traffic flow.

The marking is environmentally friendly and highly durable.

Directional marking gives an easy indication when compared to another type of marking.

Pavement marking can be high retro-reflectivity.

Disadvantages Of Pavement Marking

The Requirement for Initial Capital is high.

Pavement markings are not suitable for old or poor roads.

Also Read

Types Of Roads
Types Of Road Patterns
Types Of Road Gradients

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