Nebraska county proposes signs to replace roadside memorials
Oct. 16, 2017
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Officials in a southeast Nebraska county are crafting a policy that would allow people to buy a sign commemorating a loved one's death instead of creating private, personal roadside memorials.
Lancaster County Engineer Pam Dingman said the proposal would allow people to choose from three varieties of blue, rectangular roadside signs. The signs would include the name of the person who died and a reminder to drive safely, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .
The sign would be posted for three years and cost the person's survivors about $100.
Dingman said private roadside memorials can create safety hazards because county roads aren't meant to have people stopping to drop things off. She said she's concerned about additional injuries and accidents created by the memorials themselves, either from people stopping on the road or drivers being distracted.
Commissioner Deb Schorr said several constituents asked about removing private memorials in the county right-of-way because they've become dated or are in poor condition.
Dingman said the proposed signs are a safe way to pay tribute to those who died on county roads. Commissioner Todd Wiltgen said allowing only signs would let people memorialize their loved ones while helping educate the public on safety issues.
Dingman said her staff would probably have to remove all the current private memorials.
"The staff will have to tell people, 'We are going to pick up the flowers and teddy bears you have left for loved ones.' Obviously, it is very sensitive," she said.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com