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Memorial Signing Program

Program Overview

Upon the request of the family of a victim of an impaired driving crash and when certain requirements are met, a sign can be installed on the State Highway System at the site of a fatality caused by an impaired driver.
Recognizing the potential public awareness impact of such a program, ODOT established its Impaired Driving Victim Memorial Signing Program in 1995.  The first sign was installed in October of that year in Tillamook County. As of Feb 2011, forty-four signs have been installed. 

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The following revised guidelines have been approved by a program review committee on June 8, 2006:
  1. A sign can be installed at the site of a fatal crash that was caused by a driver who has been convicted of Negligent Homicide or Manslaughter in the first or second degree and was driving under the influence of intoxicants (either a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater and/or a DUII conviction is required).  A sign can also be installed at the site of a fatal crash that was caused by a deceased driver who had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or greater.

  2. Signs installed will be black on white with a legend which reads “DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE”, below which will be a plaque with the message “IN MEMORY OF (Victim’s Name)”.  For cases involving controlled substances or inhalants the legend will read “DON’T USE DRUGS AND DRIVE”.  Normally up to three names can be listed, but more than one name will require a larger plaque.

  3. Each successful applicant will be entitled to one sign assembly as described above, mounted on one side of the post only (no back-to-back signs), facing oncoming traffic, and only on the side of the road nearest the lane of that oncoming traffic.  In special situations where a sufficiently large turnout or wayside is available (as determined by Region Traffic Operations staff), and if acceptable to the applicant, a sign may be mounted parallel to the roadway rather than facing oncoming traffic.

  4. Signs will be installed on state highways only if the sign location will meet ODOT sign spacing standards as shown in the ODOT Traffic Sign Design Manual.

  5. Signs will not be installed on the interstate system or other freeways or their ramps.

  6. ODOT has no jurisdiction on county roads or city streets and thus cannot provide signs along these roadways.

  7. The sign must be requested by the family of the victim or other sponsor and be paid for by the victim’s family or the sponsor.  The sponsor need not be a family member, but any proposed installation must include agreement with an appropriate member of the victim’s family.  If a given crash resulted in more than one fatality, and those fatalities were from different families, the applicant must contact the families of those other victims before application is made, in order to gain written concurrence on whether the sign should even be applied for, which names should appear on the sign, and how much each family will contribute toward the cost of the sign.  Only one sign will be installed for any given crash.

  8. Signs will cost $600.  This amount is intended to cover expenses incurred, such as time spent on review of the application by the program coordinator, investigation of the proposed site by Region personnel, manufacture of the sign by the ODOT Sign Shop, and installation by the Maintenance District sign crew.  Only one $600 check or money order will be accepted as payment for any successful application.

  9. Region Traffic Operations staff will investigate all proposed installation sites and make a recommendation to the State Traffic Engineer regarding sign placement.  If the investigation determines that a location other than the one requested in the application is more appropriate, a distance of as much as one half mile away will be acceptable, with variations as approved by the State Traffic Engineer.  In no case, however, will the alternate location be on a highway other than the one on which the crash occurred.

  10. The State Traffic Engineer will approve or deny requests received and sign an agreement with sponsors and family members on those that are approved.

  11. Signs will remain in place until they are weathered (usually seven to ten years).  At that time, they will be removed.  If a sign that is still in serviceable condition is stolen, vandalized, or otherwise badly damaged, it will be replaced one time at ODOT’s expense.  After a sign has been removed due to weathering, the original applicant may renew installation of the original sign by paying another $600.

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Application Procedures

Persons wishing to sponsor a memorial sign should submit a written request to:
State Traffic Engineer
Oregon Department of Transportation
4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, OR 97302-1142
The request should include the following information:
  1. Name, address, and telephone number of applicant and relationship to victim

  2. A brief description of the crash

  3. Date and location of the crash — This should include the highway name or route number, as well as direction and distance in feet from the nearest green milepost paddle, and distance and direction from any other nearby landmarks (such as an intersecting road, or a bridge over a named stream).

  4. Names of all parties involved in the crash

  5. Proof of conviction (unless driver is deceased) and blood alcohol or drug level of driver (from court, police, or Medical Examiner’s records)

  6. Name or names, as they should appear on the sign

  7. Commitment to provide $600 for installation of sign — Payment will be requested once a sign is approved.
For more information, contact the program coordinator, Kathi McConnell at 503-986-3609.

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Fallen Officers

The 2011 Oregon State Legislature passed a law (HB 3039) to honor police officers killed in the line of duty. The law sets up a program to allow for a roadside memorial sign to be installed on a state highway to commemorate fallen officers.

Use the link below to learn more about the Fallen Officers Memorial Highway sign program, guidelines and application procedures.

Fallen Officer Memorial Highway

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Fallen Heroes

The 2013 legislature passed a law (HB 3494 & HB2708) that honored 5 individuals who were killed in the line of duty while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.  The 2015 legislature passed a law (HB 2389) to honor those who were killed in action or who died as a result of wounds received in action while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. The law sets up a program to allow for a roadside memorial sign to be installed on a state highway to commemorate​ fallen heroes.​

Use the link below to learn more about the Fallen Hero Highway Sign Program, guidelines, and application procedures.

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