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New ADOT Policy for Roadside Memorials

As you travel around Arizona, you may have noticed memorials marking the spot where loved ones have passed away. The state of Arizona and the Department of Transportation have realized how important memorials are for those remembering their departed loved ones and have now established guidelines for setting up those memorials.

By setting up these guidelines, the state can help ensure that safety standards are met to protect motorists along the freeway. Plus, should the roadside memorial ever need to move, ADOT officials will have a way to contact family to notify of the upcoming move.

If your family should wish to place a marker, the family or its designee must submit a request to the ADOT engineering and maintenance district that is in charge of the particular area where you wish to place the marker. The submission should include information on your marker but keep in mind, they will have specific requirements.

  • Markers may be up to 30” high and 18” wide and can be made up of wood, or plastic/composite material that are a maximum of 2” thick and 4” wide. A plaque is allowable but should be no bigger than 4” by 4” and up to 1/16” thick. The plaque should be anchored up to 12” in the ground, concrete and metal footings are not permitted.

  • After consultation with ADOT, families will place markers as close as possible to the outer edge of the highway right of way. If the placement request is in front of developed property, written consent must be given to the family by the property owner.

As ADOT wants to respect the wishes of the families of lost loved ones but also wishes to keep motorists safe on the highways, they will monitor for unapproved memorials. Those found that are hazardous will be removed immediately, markers that are not approved will be marked with a 60 day notice to remove the marker. In any circumstance that your marker is removed, you can still recover your belongings. When a marker is removed, a notice of where family may pick up their belongings will be left.

Remembering a loved one lost in a crash is important and ADOT certainly wishes to be supportive in helping the families to express their love for whom were lost.

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