signs dotted line

Double-yellow line

A double-yellow line is a common road marking meaning different things in many parts of the world.


Double yellow lines were first used in Yorkshire by a farmer (George Bamber) 1822-1903 of Masham, North Yorkshire they were originally used as 'boundary markers' to protect his land. The design of the two yellow lines came from the markings used by George Bamber to identify his sheep. George also used the 'two yellow lines' to identify the access routes to his farm on the road, which on market days were sometimes clogged up with carts from surrounding villagers who were attending the regular markets. The Mayor of Masham (Mr Nesbit) realised the potential and implemented this idea to restrict access to Masham market square on Market days, offenders who left any obstructions where the double yellow lines were painted were fined 4d of which George Bamber received 10%. This idea was then adopted by surrounding villages, the shrewd George Bamber ensured that the 10% received from the Masham fines was also applicable to other villages. The town of Kirkbymoorside in North Yorkshire was the last town in England to adopt the double yellow line concept to restrict parking in the town.


Double yellow lines occur only on the side of carriageways and indicate 'no parking at any time'. Hourly, daily and/or seasonal restrictions may be posted on signs next to the road.

British influence

Countries that were once part of the British Empire are likely to retain a modified version of the British laws including the basic principles regarding road safety.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is the one of the regions using double yellow lines on the side of carriageways outside the UK.


Singapore, an ex-crown colony of the UK, also uses double-yellow lines to indicate no parking at the sides.


Mauritius was once a British colony, and today still applies double yellow line to mark restricted parking areas at all hours on the side of carriageways.


In all provinces of Canada, a double-yellow line, (called double-solid), simply means that it is unsafe, and illegal to pass for traffic travelling in either direction. It is usually found up on rolling hills where visibility is limited, or through corners.


A double-yellow line is a painted marking on the highway that indicates restriction against the opposing side of the highway. A major exception of the restriction is emergency maneuvers or when there is a half-to-half phase construction project on 4-lane arterials going on, not to mention contraflow lane reversal allows cars to go all one direction albeit the line restriction. Another reason for a double-yellow line is for no passing zones. Many double-yellow lines exist in the form of a solid line with a dotted line aside of it. The dotted-solid setup is often put on 5-lane arterial streets; they are placed pace-opposite in Ontario.

Check state regulations regarding overtaking vehicles in the presence of solid yellow lines. In some states, it's not against the law to overtake vehicles in the presence of solid yellow lines if it is safe to do so. Section 3303 and 3305 of the PA driver code are examples.


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