Are roadside memorials a distraction?

Property owner of private properties has final say

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Roadside memorials mark the spot near the location where someone has lost their life, but a viewer contacted 23ABC concerned about those memorials and how long they are permitted to stay.


Memorials can be found on freeways, city streets and county roads. How long they stay though all comes down to where the memorial is located, even down to the inch. 


If the memorial is on private property, the property owner has the final say and as long as it is not a code compliance issue.

County and city road departments will remove a memorial if it is place on their right-of-way.  CalTrans will remove memorials that are on state roads.

"We do sympathize with the family, but we also want to think about safety aspects.  It can be a distraction to motorist," said CHP officer Robert Rodriguez.

Each department will take steps to remove a memorial after they receive a complaint from the public.

"I don't understand why someone would want to take that from me, they already took her physically from me and from the family.  Please don't take this from us, this is all we have of her," said Mystery Clevenger.

Road departments will will attempt contacting the family before it is removed.  Cal-Trans will place a notice on the memorial two-weeks before it is removed.

"Once the two weeks is expired, Cal-Trans will remove the memorial and place it in their yard and hold it for thirty days," said Rodriguez.

Mystery Clevenger said they visit the roadside memorial on Norris Road where Crystal Clevenger and Daniel HIller were killed as they were crossing the street in Dec. 2011. She said the memorial serves as a reminder not only to the family, but also the community.


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