Road Markings in Germany
General road markings in Germany are in white color. Though there are some special cases. One of these special cases is road construction areas. Several different kinds of materials are used to paint these markings. Some of these are prominently higher than the road surface. For example, road boundary lines. When a tire rolls over boundary line it makes a special kind of noise to warn the driver. All of these markings are discussed below.
Solid Line (Fahrbahnbegrenzung)
white solid line in the middle of the road Prohibits traffic from passing on either side. Passing is not allowed on such road becasue Vehicles must not cross the solid white line, nor is it authorized for motorcyclists to lean over the line.
The white solid line at the edges of the road is called boundary of the road. It is somewhat prominently higher than the road surface (about a half of the centimeter). Parking or stopping on the left of the line is prohibited.
Broken White Line (Leitlinie)
It also serves the purpose of guiding and dividing line. Crossing this line is permitted (Turning left over this line, making U-turn or passing other vehicles is permitted).
There are two types of broken lines:
1. Thick lines
2. Thin lines
Thin lines are used to separate the traffic on a roadway into two or
They are used to separate the roadway for oncoming traffic. Please check the image.
Thick lines are used to sperate different routes before crossings or
The also separate the Autobahn acceleration and exit lanes.
If you are new in German traffic and are confused about thick and thin lines then simple rule of thumb is to always organize in way that thick lines are on your right side and thin lines are on the left side.
Solid and Broken White Line (Einseitige Fahrstreifenbegrenzung)
Vehicles traveling on the side of the broken line may cross the line and pass other vehicles but vehicles having the solid line to on their left can't cross it or pass other vehicles.
Directional Arrows (Pfeilmarkierungen)
These arrows are painted before crossings or junctions. They warn the drivers to adjust their vehicles in the correct lane. Lanes can be changed until they are broken. Once the vehicle approaches the solid white line, changing lane is no more allowed. Parking or stopping is prohibited on these lanes.
Advance Notice Arrow (Vorankündigungspfeil)
These arrows indicates the end or beginning of authorized passing. When the arrowhead is pointing towards left it indicates an authorized passing area or broken line is approaching. If the arrowhead is pointing towards the right it warns about merging back into the lane.
Arrow Indicating a Lane End
A steeper arrow in the middle of the lane indicates an end of the lane. Vehicles in this lane must merge into the adjust lane.
Stop Line (Haltlinie)
A white thick solid line is a stop line. It indicates driver must come to a complete stop before proceeding. This line is equivalent to stop sign , even if there is no stop sign installed.
Wait Line (Wartelinie)
A white thick broken line is a waiting line. It indicates driver must yield to traffic on the upcoming priority road/lane. If necessary, come to a complete stop to allow traffic on the priority road to clear before proceeding. This line is equivalent to a yield sign , even if there is no yield sign installed.
No Parking Markings (Grenzmarkierung für Halt- oder Parkverbote)
Zigzag pattern painted on the road indicates no parking or no stopping area. This marking is often to be seen at bus and streetcar stops.
Restricted Area (Sperrfläche)
An area marked in a striped pattern is prohibited to enter. It is used to increase or decrease the number of lanes on the road.
Pedestrian Crossing (Fußgängerüberweg)
Pedestrians have the right way over the pedestrian crosswalk. It's recommended to slow the vehicle on approaching a pedestrian crosswalk and pay attention to both ends of the pedestrian crossing. Stopping or parking within five meters of a pedestrian crosswalk is prohibited.
Construction areas are often painted with additional yellow lines. These lines have precedence over normal white lines. All other rules of white lines also apply on these lines.
Please note that it is a junction and not a crossing, as turning left is prohibited due to the solid line. Vehicles turning right over the bicycle lane must yield to cyclists.
Cycle lane can be just in road color or it may be painted in maroon color. It is separated by a solid white line from other lanes. Parking or stopping on Bicycle lane is prohibited.
Sometimes the bicycle lane is on a pavement. It may or may not share the pedestrian walking area. Maroon color for cycle lane is not necessary. It can be without any color (default road color), just separated by a solid or broken line. Cyclists don't have any special priority or right of way. They are considered as a normal vehicle.
Tipps About Road Lines and Speed Limits (Inside City Limits)
In case, there is no speed limit indication. The roads without center line have generally speed limit of 30km/h. On these roads right before left is applicable, unless the priority of way shown by the sign. The driver should remain alert at every junction and crossing of the right approaching traffic.
If there is middle guideline (solid or broken) present, then speed limit is normally 50 km/h, unless indicated otherwise. Traffic on these roads has priority. Either indicated by sign or sign.
In some cities, a separate lane is designated to buses. Other vehicles are not allowed to drive, park or stop on the bus lane. Passing slow buses is allowed. Streetcars don't have any designated lanes. Their tracks can be in between normal traffic or separated. A streetcar moving in between normal traffic doesn't have any exceptional priority or right of way unless indicated by a traffic sign.
Parking Area Markings
These types of markings regulate the arrangement of parking areas and their demarcation from the flowing traffic. The lines indicate in which way and on which surfaces vehicles are to be parked. If the traffic area for pedestrians is not restricted, parking area markings can also be executed on the sidewalk. These lines are applied as a narrow line and can be displayed both solid and broken. However, at least the four corners of the individual parking area must be recognizable.
Often parking lines are also painted on the ground as shown in supplementary sign 1053-38 and sign 1053-39 .
Parallel parking areas are also sometimes marked. Other ground markings in the parking area can be, reserved parking for disabled persons.