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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 July 2018, 49 signs have been installed.
The following guidelines are effective June 2006.
Person wishing to sponsor a memorial sign should submit a written request to the following address or via email to Kathi McConnell:
The request should include the following information:
A sign can be installed at the site of a fatal crash that was caused by a driver who:
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 level of 0.08 or greater.
Signs installed will be black lettering on white background, 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.
Each successful applicant will be entitled to one sign assembly:
In special situations where a sufficiently large turnout or wayside is available (as determined by ODOT staff), and if acceptable to the applicant, a sign may be mounted parallel to the roadway rather than facing oncoming traffic.
Signs will be installed on state highways only if the sign location will meet ODOT sign spacing standards listed in its Traffic Sign Design Manual.
Signs will not be installed on the interstate system or other freeways or associated ramps.
ODOT has no jurisdiction on county roads or city streets. ODOT cannot provide signs along these roadways.
The sign must be requested by the family of the victim or other sponsor, and be paid for by either of those parties.
The sponsor need not be a family member, but any proposed installation must include agreement with an appropriate member of the victim's family.
Only one sign will be installed for any given crash. 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 the application is made in order to gain written concurrence on:
Victim memorial signs cost $600.
This fee covers the expenses incurred by ODOT such as:
Only one check or money order will be accepted as payment for any successful application.
ODOT regional traffic operations staff will investigate all proposed installation sites and make a recommendation to the state traffic-roadway engineer regarding sign placement.
If the investigation determines that a location other than the one requested is more appropriate, a distance of as much as one half mile away will be acceptable, with variations approved by the state traffic-roadway engineer.
In no case will the alternate location be on a highway other than the one on which the crash occurred.
The state traffic-roadway engineer will approve or deny applications, signing an agreement with the family or sponsor for approved applications.
Signs will remain in place until they are weathered; generally signs have a seven to ten year life.
If a sign, still within its serviceable life, is stolen, vandalized, or otherwise badly damaged, it will be replaced one time at ODOT's expense.
When a sign reaches the end of its serviceable life and must be removed, the original applicant may renew the installation with an additional $600 fee.
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