Northwest NEWS

August 26, 2002

Local News

DOT policy for highway fatality memorial installations

from the Washington State Dept. of Transportation
   It is the policy of the Washington State Department of Transportation to facilitate the grieving process for those family members who, after the loss of a loved one in an automobile/automobile-related accident on a state highway right of way.
   The type of memorial, location, and duration of allowable placement shall be as mutually agreed to between the family and WSDOT regions, within these guidelines.
   Fatality memorials are not actively "marketed" by the department. They are used to respond to specific requests for memorials from families and friends of those who have died in highway crashes.
   Requests from friends must include the deceased's family approval.
   Live plantings are strongly encouraged as the preferred type of memorial.
   Temporary plaques in conjunction with live plantings can be an effective combination, although the plaques should be removed within six months.
   Memorials other than live plantings should be removed within six months from the date of installation.
   No religious symbols of any type should be used.
   Memorials should be installed near the right of way line, well removed from the traveled way and other areas requiring frequent maintenance activities, where they pose the minimum safety and liability risk to the traveling public.
   Memorials may be placed on state highways only.
   Requests may be received for memorials along Interstate highways where they are not allowed by the Federal Highway Administration, or along other state highways where memorial installations are not feasible.
   For these locations, educational contributions in the name of the deceased to traffic safety advocates may be suggested as an alternative to memorials.
   The cost of these memorials (purchasing, installing, and maintaining) should be fully borne by the requesters.