Any person who dies in a crash on a Wyoming state highway outside a municipality is eligible to have a memorial sign erected in his or her honor.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation’s Roadside Memorial Program was instituted in 2003 “to help those grieving the loss of a loved one in a vehicle crash, and at the same time, promote highway safety,” according to Doug McGee, WYDOT public affairs officer in Cheyenne.
“The signing program will keep grieving families out of harm’s way since they are no longer allowed to park along highways and install their own memorials,” McGee said. “The WYDOT policy recognizes the emotional needs of grieving family members and others. It allows for memorials to honor those who die on state highways and yet assures that the memorials themselves do not become safety hazards.”
The roadside memorial signs – which carry a broken heart and a dove on the sign – are placed near the right-of-way fences along state highways so they don’t hinder WYDOT right-of-way operations, such as mowing and snow removal.
“The memorial signs also serve as an addition to WYDOT’s driver-awareness efforts by reminding the public to drive defensively and to always buckle their seat belts,” McGee said.
One memorial sign is allowed for each person who dies in a crash, and requests must come from the immediate family of the person who dies in the crash. An application from each family is required. WYDOT erects and maintains the sign. Memorial signs will remain in place for five years; they may be removed sooner if a family member makes a written request to have the sign removed.
Private memorials of any type are not allowed within the state’s rights-of-way; any that are erected are removed by WYDOT and held for a period of time to allow retrieval by those who erect them.
MEDIA: For questions about this news release, contact Cody Beers, WYDOT District 5 Public Involvement Specialist, at 856-1341.