Central Hatching

Central hatching (painted medians) and wide centrelines increase the separation between traffic travelling in opposite directions on undivided roads. This reduces the risk of head-on crashes. In addition, central hatching can be used to narrow wide lanes and therefore encourage lower speeds.

Central hatching may be used in both rural and urban areas. In urban areas, it provides some protection to pedestrians crossing the road, and may be coupled with pedestrian crossing facilities, such as refuge islands to provide added security.

If the hatching is wide enough, it can contain a turn lane. Where road rules permit driving on painted hatching, it is often used as an informal turn lane.

In rural areas central hatching can be used with rumble strips or pavement markers to alert drivers when they are leaving their lane.

Central hatching can be installed over a continuous length of road or at specific points - for example, curves in the road.

  • Fewer head-on and overtaking crashes.
  • Can remove turning vehicles from through traffic lanes, resulting in fewer rear-end and turning crashes and improved traffic flow.
  • Improved delineation.
  • Some reduction in speeds.
  • Possible protection for pedestrians.
  • Inexpensive.

If rumble strips, or other raised pavement devices are also used, the risk to motorcycles and pedestrians (trip hazard) must be considered.


Benefits

  • Fewer head-on and overtaking crashes.
  • Can remove turning vehicles from through traffic lanes, resulting in fewer rear-end and turning crashes and improved traffic flow.
  • Improved delineation.
  • Some reduction in speeds.
  • Possible protection for pedestrians.
  • Inexpensive.

Implementation issues

If rumble strips, or other raised pavement devices are also used, the risk to motorcycles and pedestrians (trip hazard) must be considered.

Did you know?

Pedestrian overpasses can reduce casualty crashes by 60% or more.

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Treatment Summary

Costs
Low
Treatment life
1 year - 5 years
Effectiveness
10-25%

References

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