October 2, 2008 · Updated 2:56 PM
The language of Initiative 715, which would allow Washington
citizens to erect memorials on public rights-of-way, reads as follows:
1. A small memorial placed upon the public right-of-way where a
tragic motor vehicle accident has taken place helps not only the grieving
family and friends, but the memorial also benefits the motoring public as
they become cognizant of possible dangerous areas on the public right-of-way.
2. A citizen of the state of Washington may place a small memorial
on a public right-of-way that is not part of the interstate highway system
where a death has occurred as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
3. The memorials may measure no more than two feet in height
and two feet in width.
4. The memorials must be placed a safe distance from the edge of
the shoulder of the road so as to not present any hazard or obstruction to
the motoring public. Wood or plastic material must be used when
sturdier materials would present a safety hazard.
5. In the event of any concerns pertaining to safety issues, a
representative from the Washington State Patrol and a representative from the
local police department shall resolve those safety issues.
6. The decedent's family shall determine the length of time a
memorial remains at the site of the loss of life. In case of apparent abandonment
of the memorial site, the Department of Transportation, or other entity
or person who would have the legal authority to remove the memorial,
shall make every effort possible to contact family members who would be
affected by the removal. The decedent's family may choose whatever
form or fashion the memorial will be within the size limitations stated in
subsection three of this section and as distinguished from a memorial that
the Department of Transportation or other legal authority deems
7. Existing memorials that exceed the size limitations of
subsection three are exempt from removal as long as they present no safety hazard
to the motoring public.