SCIENCE & TECH: Yellow line on I-95 in Florida confuses motorists, cars with driver-assistance tech
A mysterious — and misplaced — yellow line painted along a busy Florida highway has puzzled motorists — and confused cars with driver-assistance technology as state officials rush to clean up the problem.
The yellow line inadvertently spilled on the southbound side of Interstate 95 in Jacksonville first caught the attention of drivers Friday, First Coast News reported.
The line randomly spans about 23 miles, leaving drivers in an awkward spot.
“At first, I saw it come on and I got over into the other lane because I thought it was merging me somewhere, then I was like, ‘It’s in the middle of the lane,’” a driver told the station over the weekend.
A WJXT news reporter and his cameraman even drove on the affected part of the highway to detail how head-scratching it was.
“It’s a little bit confusing. If I didn’t already know what this was when we left, I’d be a little worried,” the cameraman said as he drove the station’s truck.
Cars meant to help drivers navigate the road safely also appeared to have issues.
The Florida Department of Transportation advised drivers behind the wheel of vehicles equipped with lane departure detection, blind spot assist and smart cruise control to contact their manufacturer for guidance.
“And never rely solely on these features for safe driving,” the DOT warned in a statement.
Several motorists with self-driving cars and lane departure vehicles contacted First Coast News about the impact the yellow line was having on their rides.
When the news outlet drove through the affected highway in a 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, the lane departure assist beeped seven times and even took control of the wheel once to self-correct.
The lane assist stopped acting up after the Subaru reached a faded part of the line, the outlet reported.
“Drivers are always the ones that are responsible when they’re on the roadway,” a DOT spokesperson told First Coast News.
“At this time, we want people to be aware. Drive with both hands on the wheel throughout the entire corridor.”
No reported crashes have happened due to the yellow line.
Sunshine State transportation officials will start removing the ill-placed paint job Tuesday night into early Wednesday and again on Wednesday night.
It is unknown who or what was responsible for the initial botched paint job.
While the state DOT didn’t directly point blame, officials noted that Acme Barricades, a local highway safety and traffic control company, agreed to have their crews help remove the paint.
“FDOT Staff is working with Acme Barricades to resolve the situation,” the department said in a statement.
“Taxpayers are not expected to pay for the paint spill removal.”