Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Is it time to get rid of the roadside memorial law in NJ for good?

The Pacific Highway's Roadside Memorials
Getty Images

Although it’s technically against the law to erect a roadside memorial to someone who has lost his or her life in a car accident, the law is rarely enforced.

And there’s a reason for that – they’re not really that big of a deal.

That’s why instead of enacting a stronger law, against these makeshift memorials, I would suggest that we get rid of the law entirely.

A new law that is proposed by Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, D-Cape May, would require people to apply for a permit to put up a roadside memorial. And not only a permit, but they would have to provide all kinds of information regarding the date and location of the accident, the name of the deceased etc.

What a Jersey lawmaker wants to do about dangerous roadside memorials

Usually these memorials are erected in a state of abject sorrow and shock so for these people to have the presence of mind to fill out these forms would be pretty highly unlikely. Obviously, this is just a ruse to make these people jump through hoops and eventually just discourage them from placing the memorial at all.

To me, this is just more government regulation and unnecessary bureaucracy. The argument, I suppose (although it’s kind of hard to tell) is that these memorials can pose some sort of danger to passing motorists because they are a distraction and are therefore dangerous.

I haven’t seen any statistics that would actually prove to me that this is the case. While I have myself have turned to glance for a moment at a roadside memorial, I’ve never found it any more distracting than a squirrel darting out of traffic, a branch falling on the side of the road or large piece of refuse or roadkill.

I’m never one to be swayed away from the necessity of a law just because there is intense emotion attached to it, so if I thought these things were truly dangerous, I’d be an advocate. But the fact is that anyone who is so distracted by one of these memorials that they cannot drive safely shouldn’t be on the road to begin with.

You’ve seen them. They’re generally a sign (or a few of them) or a cluster of flowers (or a few of them). You may glance over for a second,  but not any longer than you would to closely inspect.

A few beer cans or a garbage bag littering the highway. As a matter of fact, I have actually never seen one of these memorials that was so huge and cumbersome as to distract anyone.

This is another example of New Jersey lawmakers having not enough to do with their time. Do you agree with this? Take our poll below:

More from New Jersey 101.5:

Subscribe to New Jersey 101.5 FM on

Sign up for the NJ1015.com Newsletter

Get the best of NJ1015.com delivered to your inbox every day.

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.