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Are faded road markings illegal?

Road markings are an ordinary yet crucial part of the road. Even if you don’t consciously notice them most of the time, they are there to direct traffic and keep road users safe. As a learner driver, you learn what they mean, and once you gain your license and spend a few years on the road, you almost instinctively use them to guide your journeys.

So, what happens when they fade? With how much influence road markings have over drivers’ decisions, their fading can result in unfortunate consequences.

What happens when road markings fade?

Road markings fade over time – it is natural. How quickly they fade depends on several factors, such as the weather, the quality of the paint, and how much traffic that particular road has seen. The fading makes it much harder for drivers to see them, resulting in unclear instructions and unsafe driving.

For example, line markings might show drivers the lane dividers; if they aren’t clear, drivers won’t know which lane to drive in.

In some cases, unclear road markings can result in collisions and even fatalities, making their upkeep of vital importance. Therefore, the markings need to be sharp, clear, and always well-maintained to ensure the ultimate safety of all motorists and pedestrians using the road.

The legality of faded road markings

It’s clear that faded road markings are dangerous, but are they illegal? Looking at it as a black or white matter, road markings are not directly illegal.

However, their presence may fall under the Road Traffic Act 1988 legislation that states all roads must be safe for drivers. As you’d expect, faded road markings could be considered unsafe, especially if they cause an accident. In this situation, the blame could be placed on the person in charge of the road markings upkeep.

So, while faded road markings are not illegal, there are potential legal consequences for letting them fade.

How to fix faded road markings

The responsibility of fixing road markings usually falls on the local highways authority or private road owners. If you aren’t one of those but notice faded road markings, get in touch with your local highways authority or council.

To fix faded road markings, those in authority must send workers out to examine the road markings in order to determine whether they are clear enough. If not, they replace them, making the roads safer for everyone and avoiding violating the law.

As a general rule, markings should be examined regularly to ensure they are fit for purpose and not faded.

Lineway UK ensures long-lasting line markings

It’s essential to use the best equipment and paint for road markings. That way, you don’t have to send workers out to maintain them as often, and the roads stay safe for longer. We have the products you need here at Lineway UK if you’re interested in high-quality line marking paint. Need help choosing the correct paint for your road marking job? Don’t hesitate to get in touch – our friendly customer service team are always happy to assist.


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