What are the different road stud colours and what do they mean?

So, you’ve passed your test or still a learner driver with a provisional licence, and you are out on the road. You have cruised the city streets, explored the country lanes and even sped off onto the motorway. You find yourself wondering why some roads have white, red, amber, or green studs mean. Or you are a passenger pondering the same question. Well, quite simply, they are markers for certain parts of a road and can help you identify them as you cruise past. Some people may have called them cat’s eyes to you, they can be reflective or non-reflective in the dark, but they are all there to act as an extra guide on the road for you, especially when driving at night.

  • White studs: Mark the lanes or the middle of the road.
  • Red studs: Mark the left edge of the road.
  • Amber studs: Mark the central reservation.
  • Green studs: Mark the edge of the main road at slip roads or lay by.
  • Green/yellow studs can also be sued to indicate temporary changes to lane layouts (e.g. if road works are being carried out)
the meaning of reflective road studs

Sometimes temporary studs can be on the road, these are only there when there is a contraflow in place or work is being done to the road. These will be either fluorescent yellow or green. Spend 5 minutes and memorise the colours and meanings, and you will be one step closer to acing your driving theory test in NI or the UK. Nervous? Read our driving test guide to reducing test drive nerves before the practical test. Number one on the list is having your one-day driving test insurance document ready to present o the driving test centre.

What do the white lines mean?

A thick, solid white line at either side of the road is to show its edge. A broken white line in the centre of the road marks the middle of the road or the marker before another lane. You can sometimes have up to three or four lanes on one road with your thick solid white line at the edges.

Motorway lanes explained

I’m sure you’ve heard before about one lane being the fast lane and one being the slow, but that is a myth. There is no such thing. They are simply called lane 1, 2, 3 or 4 and this is how they work:

  • Lane 1 is the left-hand lane for normal driving.
  • Lane 2 potentially the 2nd lane or middle lane which is for overtaking.
  • Lane 3 or Lane 4, the right-hand lane for overtaking.

Certain vehicles cannot use the right-hand lane and that is vehicles with trailers, speed restricted vehicles, any vehicle over 7.5 tonnes and finally vehicles that are to carry more than 8 passengers, potentially a coach or 9 seater minibus.

What is a yellow box on the road?

Similar to the studs (or cat’s eyes) Yellow box junctions are there as a signal to you, as the yellow box junctions are there to keep the road clear for through traffic to avoid traffic jams. Just like loading bays and red routes, these are put in place on certain roads to keep cars flowing.

What do double yellow lines mean?

No waiting at any time. If you are caught parked on these lines, you can be fined. A police officer or a council parking warden have the authority to fine you on the spot-on sight. If you are a new driver, finding cheap young driver insurance can be difficult, but make insurance quotes NI comparison tool will help on your journey to finding the best car insurance NI and the UK.

The more you use the roads daily, the more these questions will become second knowledge to yourself, but don’t be afraid to bookmark this guide to your phone for future reference. Good luck out there and stay safe!

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