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State issued signs will replace personalized highway memorials

Posted at 10:35 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 23:36:20-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Highway memorials of lost loved ones are located on roadways across the nation.

White crosses, flowers or small reminders of those who've died in vehicular crashes are a place for family members to grieve.

Now, with a new policy from the Nebraska Department of Transportation, those sites will become a safety message for drivers - and it comes at a price.

"The purpose of this policy is about safety. It's safety for the highway user and it's safety for any grieving family that want to recognize a family member that was a victim of a crash," NDOT District Engineer Tim Weander said.

NDOT's policy will replace personalized memorials with a more standard sign.

"Any fluttering or anything that causes your eye to just wander while your traveling down the roadway is a distraction, so a sign is not a distraction," Weander said.

The Department says only immediate family members can apply for a sign to be placed in a requested and safe location.

NDOT repeated they will do their best to place the sign as close as possible to the fatal crash location.

The signs will cost family members $50 and stay up for 2 years.

"The cost covers the cost of the sign and the cost of the installation. Again, it's not cheap to put these things up," Weander said.

The Department added family members have 10 years from the time of the crash to apply for a state issued memorial sign.

As part of the transition, NDOT will work with family members who currently have memorials on the state highway system. However, those personalized memorials will be removed at some point.

The Department is encouraging those families to contact their local NDOT office for further instruction.