Parking lines and road markings in Spain
Whilst Spain is within Europe, sometimes you may feel that their road signs, signals and road markings are not. We are going to simplify them. The main reason for road markings is usually to denote the separation of the sides of a road or changes in the type of road. They also provide drivers with information (when they are observed and acted on correctly) of any potential risks ahead or changes in the road.
Continuous White Line (or Solid white line as it is sometimes referred to as)
When you see this type of line in the middle of the road it means that you are not allowed to cross it, effectively in your mind you should be registering this as a wall that is not passable. A longitudinal mark consisting of two continuous white lines has the same meaning…. so far so good no surprises.
Many people living in the south of the island will have noted (especially in the Las Chafiras Area) this type of line on the exit from the motorway and where you are not allowed to turn into another road by crossing over the line. There is one exception however ……. and that is in order to pass a cyclist, giving them the minimum distance and of course only when there is no oncoming traffic and it is safe to do so, common sense plays a huge part in the latter comment.
A Broken White Line
This is intended to basically be used as a guide to keep you on the correct side of the road but you are permitted to cross this type of line to pass vehicles or cyclist as long as your manoeuvre does not impede other motorist and that you can carry the move out quickly and return safely to your lane in the shortest time possible considering speed limits.
These lines are also used to indicate an approach to a dangerous or hazardous area or location. You may not have noticed, but in these circumstances the distance between the lines are somewhat shorter than the normal ones and are often slightly wider.
They can also be used to indicate a special lane for certain vehicles i.e. Buses and in general these lines will be significantly wider.
Double Solid White Lines
These have the same purpose as a single one but denotes that traffic in both directions must not cross onto the other side of the road. As in the UK, if one side in certain places the line is broken, it denotes that traffic travelling in that direction can overtake, provided it is safe but not the traffic on the other side .
A self-explanatory line, solid and usually accompanied by an octantal “Stop” sign or words written on the road. Vehicles must stop and give way to traffic on the main road or if at pedestrian lights or crossing they must stop and adhere to the rules relating to the signs or signals. Please note that Motorcyclists and cyclists HAVE to put a foot down on the ground to indicate that they have stopped correctly.
Police have been known to issue fines where there are stop signs, where no other traffic is around and a motorist has not actually stopped …… Christmas is coming so…
Give Way Line
This is a broken line normally used where there is reduced or obstructed visibility and of course you must not cross until it is safe and clear.
There are two types of give way lines or is thicker than the other so if you are at an intersection and there are two give ways and a stop the thinner give way has right of way first, then the other give way and then lastly the stop line.
This is of course a series of wide white lines arranged parallel to the axis of the road where drivers MUST allow pedestrians to cross
These are just a few of the road markings but failing to adhere to them can result in pretty harsh fines. Safe motoring folks.