South Carolina cutting back on roadside memorials

Flowers, signs and stuffed animals make up a makeshift memorial outside Woodmore Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

CHARLESTON (WCBD) – Every now and then, you may see a homemade memorial, most often crosses, placed along a road or highway for a person killed in an accident.

“A lot of people are transported to the hospital, but many times they die on the scene,” said Kelly Stafford, a victim services specialist with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “The roadside becomes a place where people place signs, bring balloons — it becomes a place to visit.”

But sometimes these remembrances of those killed pose a hazard.

State officials are pushing an alternative to the personal signs that might distract drivers — buying a roadside plaque from the Department of Transportation for $250 in order to honor those killed in collisions.

Several other states, including North Carolina and Georgia, offer similar roadside markers.

Still, victim advocates say the plaques aren’t a good option for some families and friends due to the cost and the unexpected nature of highway deaths.

“Nobody is prepared to lose a child, and often times cremation is easier, then the roadside becomes a memorial to visit because they don’t have anywhere else to go without a gravesite,” said Stafford.

If you would like to purchase a memorial plaque, they are maintained and kept near an accident site, reading “Drive Safely.” A link to the application is found on SCDOT’s website, click here:

http://www.scdot.org/getting/community_roadside_memorials.aspx

 

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