The origins of the white line can be traced back to way before the iconic picture of the Beatles on a crossing outside Abbey Road Studios.
But that picture was probably one of the first times that road markings perceived within the public consciousness as a low cost; high value way of saving lives.
The iconic 1969 image of the Beatles outside Abbey Road
(courtesy of EMI Records)
In fact the first ever 'white lines' to appear in the UK appeared exactly 100 years ago on a number of dangerous bends on the London-Folkeston road at Ashford, Kent, in 1914 but it was during the 1920's that there was a dramatic rise in their use.
Then, the idea of painting a centre white line was first used within a built up area in 1921 in Sutton Coldfield, following complaints by residents over reckless driving and several collisions, the line was put down on Maney Corner as an experiment as there were a lot of accidents there, even in the early days of the motor car.
Maney Corner as it looks today with clear markings
Then in 1926 the rather aptly named First Ministry of Transport published their guidelines on how, why and where white lines should be used.
As time progressed throughout the next decade white lines were seen more and more as stop lines at junctions, with the Police officer still in control of and directing traffic at intersections.
Despite an Increase in White Lines Police officers were still deployed to marshal traffic
Then, during the World War II the Pedestrians Association lobbied for the government to make it safer for pedestrians to walk during the black out. As a result white lines were painted on the sides of the road and pedestrians were allowed to use a small torch.
By the end of the war the UK had widely started to adopt cats eyes and white lines because a tool to keep people in the correct lane and edge lines began to appear along the sides of roads to help motorists define the boundary of the carriageway.
As cars became more common in the 1950s and roads became busier the necessity for restrictions on roads became much more apparent, and as a result the yellow line began to appear.
Even more road markings were introduced throughout the following decades and in 2002 the yellow line system was adapted for the new millennium.
Today, road markings are used to convey a range of information to the driver spanning navigational, safety and enforcement issues leading to their use in road environment understanding within advanced driver assistance systems and consideration for future use in autonomous road vehicles, but despite this the good old white line really hasn't changed all that much in almost a century.