As stated in the Ada County Highway District Roadside Memorial Policy, roadside tributes are intended to "provide family and friends of persons fatally injured in traffic accidents the opportunity to memorialize their loved ones.” ACHD further contends roadside memorials are catalysts for spreading public awareness of roadway risks and fatalities. As such, law enforcement and state representatives largely regard roadside memorials as educational and cautionary tales.

Photo by || Ryan Valenzuela
Photo by || Ryan Valenzuela
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To erect a roadside memorial in the public right-of-way, families and friends of the deceased must apply for ACHD approval. Once approval is obtained, responsible parties are held to a set of standards aimed at preventing distracted driving among motorists passing by. One standard in particular refers to a memorial’s height, width, and proximity to the public right-of-way. Should it fail to meet the physical requirements set forth by the ACHD 10 days after the initial notice was issued, the district reserves the right to dispose of it altogether.

Photo by || Unsplash
Photo by || Unsplash
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In the event a roadside memorial is erected without consent, the district then removes the memorial and holds its contents for a period of up to 30 days. If the party responsible for erecting the non-compliant memorial does not request and receive approval within that time frame, the district once again reserves the right to dispose of it.

Photo by || Ryan Valenzuela
Photo by || Ryan Valenzuela
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Roadside memorials must meet the following criteria:

  • They cannot be placed within traffic medians or construction zones.
  • They must adhere to public safety standards.
  • They cannot compromise the safety of passing motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, or construction staff.
  • Flashing lights, glass, mobile or spinning parts, music or amplified sound, and sharp objects are strictly prohibited.
Photo by || Unsplash
Photo by || Unsplash
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Are there situations in which a departed person does not qualify for a roadside memorial? There are.

A driver that causes the fatality and is convicted of vehicular manslaughter as a result of driving under the influence will not be memorialized in the state of Idaho.

To learn more about ACHD roadside memorial regulations, visit Roadside Tributes of Idaho.

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