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5/13/09 / Greasy

11:50 AM Every time I drive now, down a highway separated by that double yellow line with its periodic breaks, I’ve been thinking about those people whose job it is to decide just where to start and end those breaks. Their decision could mean life or death for some eager overtaker in a hurry, yet how many of us have actually thought about that specific job before?

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Photo from

Whoever’s job it is has to stand there and consider several factors, such as:

  • speed limit on the highway
  • actual speed on the highway
  • visibility ahead in fair weather
  • visibility ahead in poor weather
  • shoulder width on either side

After keeping all these in mind, that special person has to decide whether they’re going to draw a single dashed line, one dashed and one solid line, or a double solid line in that spot. Then he or she has to decide where the line will change, and to what. It’s a time-consuming job I imagine.

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