State Road Officials Working With Grieving Families, Need To Balance Increasing Safety On Highway System

LINCOLN – A new policy pertaining to roadside memorial was announced Wednesday from the Nebraska Department of Transportation.

According to a release from NDOT, this policy is aimed at allowing an immediate family member to memorialize a death which occurred as the result of a vehicular crash on the State Highway System.

Immediate family members can now apply for a NDOT produced sign to be placed in a requested location in the State Right of Way (ROW) as a memorial for two years after installation. NDOT will make every effort to place the memorial sign as close to the requested location as possible.

NDOT officials believe this new policy appropriately allows families to honor their loved ones while keeping the State Highway System free of various memorials and hazards which may be a distraction to motorists. They want to recognize grieving families while balancing their responsibility of increasing safety on Nebraska’s highway system.

As part of the transition, NDOT will continue to work with family members who currently have private memorials on the State Highway System. Family members who have private memorials on the state highway system are encouraged to contact their local NDOT office to discuss the disposition of their memorial and get information regarding installation of the new memorial sign. Family members wishing to install a new memorial will be asked to submit an application for the customized sign.

Each memorial sign will include a safety message chosen by the family from five available options: “Please Drive Safely”; “Seat Belts Save Lives”; “Don’t Drink and Drive”; “Don’t Text and Drive” and “Don’t Drive Impaired” while also displaying the name of the individual being memorialized.

The application as well as guidance material for a memorial can be found at https://dot.nebraska.gov/safety/. Applications can be completed electronically or printed and filed with the Nebraska Department of Transportation, Communications and Public Policy Division. The application fee is $50 and will go to the cost of the production of the customized sign.

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