The true meaning of zig-zag lines on main roads that is leaving people baffled

Zig zag lines on road
The zig zag lines have an important significance that should never be ignored -Credit:Staffordshire Newsletter

A certain road marking has left the internet scratching their heads - and it's likely not what you'd first think.

We all know the basics like stop signs and double yellow lines, but some of the more obscure road rules can slip our minds as the years since our driving theory tests add up.

That's why a particular road marking has caused quite a stir online. The white zig-zag lines are a common sight on our streets, yet they're often overlooked unless they seem immediately relevant to us.

On Reddit, one user posed the question: "What do these lines mean? ," highlighting the bold zig-zags on a typical city street. This sparked a wave of confusion among commenters, with one asking: "Are allowed to park there? ", while another grumbled about the plethora of signs, the Mirror reports.

Surprisingly, the UK's Highway Code contains several important regulations regarding these white zig-zag lines that could be useful to remember. For starters, parking over these markings is strictly off-limits for safety reasons, as they usually precede pedestrian crossings.

It's also prohibited to overtake the leading vehicle or any vehicle that has stopped to allow pedestrians to cross within these marked areas, in line with government safety measures. However, a closer inspection of the image might reveal that not all these rules are being observed.

A van has been snapped parked directly on top of zig-zag lines, causing confusion as there's no crossing in sight. The photo, believed to be from Brussels, shows a situation where locals explain that such markings typically indicate delivery zones.

One local commented: "There should be a sign telling you delivery hours and cost of parking (usually 100€)," while another pointed out: "As people have said, this is a delivery area. There should be a sign somewhere indicating whether you cannot park during a certain range of hours (e.g. no parking between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.) or whether you are not allowed to park at all."

In contrast, the UK's approach to marking delivery areas has evolved, with the Highway Code specifying white bay boxes for this purpose. It reads: "Lengths of road reserved for vehicles loading and unloading are indicated by a white 'bay' marking with the words 'Loading Only' and a sign with the white on blue 'trolley' symbol."

The Code further clarifies: "This sign also shows whether loading and unloading is restricted to goods vehicles and the times at which the bay can be used. If no times or days are shown it may be used at any time. Vehicles may not park here if they are not loading or unloading."

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