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Roadside Memorials to Honor Accident Victims are Illegal in TN - Meagan O'Halloran


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Take a drive down our Tennessee roads and you've seen 'em. A cross on the side of the road. It usually marks the place of a bad accident where someone has died. Many families remember their loved ones by memorializing the crash site but did you know it's illegal? It's considered a safety risk and distraction to drivers. It's a sensitive subject that causes a lot of controversy.

Off I-24 near exit 70 in Smyrna--some people see it, other people don't. It's a cross on the side of the road in honor of Jackie Warpoole. Warpoole didn't die in a wreck; he was actually found shot to death inside his car. This roadside memorial is one of the ways his family is remembering him.

The state's worried roadside memorials can potentially be dangerous. It puts TDOT in a tough position and a lot of times crews have no choice but to remove them.

"As drivers, we certainly have a lot of distractions already with cell phones and everything else in our cars. So we certainly dont need any more items on the road that could cause distractions to drivers" said TDOT spokeswoman Deanna Lambert. It's a sensitive subject. but when it comes to safety and there's some mixed feelings about that.

TDOT's afraid memorials made in honor of accident victims could potentially cause more accidents,encourage rubbernecking, or even block important roadside safety signs---but telling that to a grieving family isnt the easiest thing to do.

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