Last year, Texas Department of Transportation began a sign program memorializing victims of drunk drivers. The effort was intended to have a safer alternative to homemade memorials. Federal law, however, states that such signs can only remain in place for one year. That has lead families who have lost loved ones to driving while intoxicated offenses, as well as the state legislature, to take action.
The Federal Highway Administration says that permanent memorial signs are only permitted in locations with parking, such as recreation areas, rest stops and scenic overlooks. Such signs are not permitted on roadways for the safety of motorists and because of operational concerns. Families and friends of drunk driving victims say the signs are a form of remembrance and believe the signs should be left up permanently.
TxDOT says that a number of memorial signs have passed the one-year mark though there is no concerted effort to immediately remove them. Officials are now waiting until summer to see if the state legislature passes a law doubling the time the TX DWI memorials can remain in place. The bill is scheduled to be out of committee by May 11.
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