Count on interstate mile markers to know your location

Placed at periodic intervals on major highways in Virginia, green-and-white mile marker signs along the right shoulder help travelers report their location in an emergency

Mile marker along the interstate
Vehicles drive past Mile Marker 176 on Interstate 64 East.

RICHMOND — When you need to summon help along Virginia’s interstates, travelers can count on mile marker signs to identify their location along the highway.

As more people embark on year-end holiday trips in December and January, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is sharing a “Mile Marker 101” video that advises travelers on how to find and use mile marker signs on interstates.

Look for these green-and-white rectangular signs at the edge of the interstate shoulder. Interstate mile marker signs are usually placed at every mile and may also be posted every 0.1 or 0.2 miles. The signs help emergency responders map their route to reach a person requesting assistance.

“Time is precious in an emergency,” said VDOT Chief of Maintenance and Operations Kevin Gregg. “Mile marker signs help travelers report their location as precisely as possible when calling for assistance."

"Knowing where you are may help emergency responders reach you faster. After logging many miles on a road trip, motorists experiencing an emergency may not remember the most recent interstate exit they passed, especially if they are traveling in an unfamiliar area. Mile markers signs provide accurate information to travelers that is not reliant on technology or wireless connectivity,” said Gregg.

Messages about incidents, congestion and road work are also communicated on changeable message signs using mile markers as locations.

Travelers spotting debris or other road hazards on the interstate are encouraged to use mile marker signs to include the location in work order reports. Contact VDOT’s Customer Service Center 24 hours a day online at or by phone at 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or to submit a request, report a hazard, or ask a question.

If you are planning a trip along a Virginia interstate, visit to explore a list of exit numbers along each interstate before you go, along with other travel resources, such as the locations and mile markers for 41 Virginia Safety Rest Areas.

Last updated: July 11, 2024

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