Driver Location Signs

The last thing you need when you’re in a hurry is a mechanical failure with your car that puts the brakes on your journey and leaves you wishing you’d taken your car for that check-up after all. 

If you’re unlucky enough to be stranded at the side of the road after a breakdown or an accident, it’s important that you are able to give your exact location when calling for help. Which is where driver location signs come in. You’ll find them on all motorways and most A roads in the UK, and you can use them to tell your breakdown recovery provider or the emergency services where you are. 

What do driver location signs look like? 

Driver location signs have yellow writing on a blue background.

How to read a driver location sign?

Each driver location sign has three pieces of important information:

The top line is the road identifier

The second line is the carriageway identifier

The bottom line is location

The sign above marks a location 2.8 km on the B carriageway of the M27. All driver location signs use kilometres instead of miles. 

Where will you find the driver location signs?

Since 1980, all British motorways have had driver location signs at 500-metre intervals along the hard shoulder. Driver location signs can also be found on most A roads at similar intervals.

Why do we need driver location signs? 

The last thing anyone needs is a breakdown that leaves them stuck by the side of the road. Breakdowns can strike any time and any place and they’re never convenient when they happen. 

If you need assistance, either from breakdown recovery or the emergency services, it can waste valuable time if you can’t tell them exactly where you are. 

Highway maintenance also use the signs to direct workers and ensure works are carried out on the correct stretch of road.  

Distance Marker Posts

Most motorways also have distance marker posts as well as driver location signs that tell you which direction the nearest phone is. Distance marker posts are located every 100 metres along the side of the road. 

The number you find on a distance marker post is also encoded into the numbers used by the emergency roadside phones. This means the operators can easily tell where the call is coming from.  

When you’re driving on the motorway or on some of Britain’s A roads look out for driver location signs and distance marker posts - you never know when you might need the information.  





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