Roadside Memorials

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Roadside memorials got their start in Hispanic Southwestern cities, as a way to remember the person who had died there. With 964 deaths on Kentucky roadways last year, it's becoming an all too familiar sighting.

Keirsten Jaggers says, "It's a really sensitive situation. People lose a loved one and they want to put something there to memorialize that person. For us, as a cabinet we generally don't move those."

Keirsten Jaggers with the Kentucky Transportation says there are no laws against roadside memorials in Kentucky at this time. But there are some restrictions. If a monument is too big or made out of stone they will move it.

Jaggers says, "We have had a few that just they... stuff continually collected in that one site and we had to go and remove some of the items."

One problem is sometimes the memorials get in the way of road workers.

Jaggers says, "There are some of them that get mowed over or knocked down during mowing season. Like I said we don't maintain that so it's not something we're going to be able to move and replace."

Some states like North Carolina and Oregon prohibit shrines along the roadways. Tennessee also had a ban on them. They say the monuments are distracting to other drivers and could cause future accidents. Jaggers disagrees and says she thinks the monuments could prevent accidents.

Jaggers says, "When you're driving down the road and you see that , hopefully it's something that reminds you someone died there. Maybe they were driving too fast or didn't have a seatbelt on. So hopefully that will remind people to buckle up and slow down."

For more information about roadside memorials and laws about them check out these sites.