Florida Senate - 2018                                     SB 206
       By Senator Perry
       8-00210-18                                             2018206__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to highway memorial markers; creating
    3         s. 335.094, F.S.; providing legislative intent;
    4         requiring the Department of Transportation to
    5         establish a process, including the adoption of any
    6         forms deemed necessary by the department, for
    7         submitting applications for installation of a memorial
    8         marker; specifying the persons who may submit such
    9         applications to the department; requiring the
   10         department to establish criteria for the design and
   11         fabrication of memorial markers; authorizing the
   12         department to install a certain sign at no charge to
   13         an applicant; providing that memorial markers may
   14         incorporate the available emblems of belief approved
   15         by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
   16         National Cemetery Administration upon the request of
   17         the applicant and payment of a reasonable fee set by
   18         the department to offset production costs; authorizing
   19         an applicant to request an emblem of belief not
   20         specifically approved by the United States Department
   21         of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration
   22         for incorporation in a memorial marker, subject to
   23         certain requirements; requiring the department to
   24         notify applicants if additional information is
   25         required and to advise them that no further action on
   26         the application will be taken until the additional
   27         information is provided; providing requirements for
   28         placement of the memorial marker by the department;
   29         requiring the department to remove memorial markers if
   30         the department determines that the presence of a
   31         marker creates a safety hazard; providing for
   32         disposition of such markers; providing an effective
   33         date.
   35  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   37         Section 1. Section 335.094, Florida Statutes, is created to
   38  read:
   39         335.094 Highway memorial markers.—
   40         (1) In recognition of the department’s mission to provide a
   41  safe transportation system, the Legislature intends that the
   42  department allow the use of highway memorial markers at or near
   43  the location of traffic-related fatalities on the State Highway
   44  System to raise public awareness of highway safety issues and
   45  remind motorists to drive safely by memorializing people who
   46  have died as a result of a traffic-related crash.
   47         (2) The department shall establish a process, including the
   48  adoption of any forms it deems necessary, for submitting
   49  applications for installation of a memorial marker as authorized
   50  in this section. Applications may be submitted to the department
   51  by:
   52         (a) A member of the decedent’s family, including the
   53  decedent’s spouse; a child, parent, or sibling of the decedent,
   54  whether biological or adopted or a step relation; and any lineal
   55  or collateral descendant of the decedent; or
   56         (b) Any individual who is responsible under the laws of
   57  this state for the disposition of the unclaimed remains of the
   58  decedent or for other matters relating to the interment or
   59  memorialization of the decedent.
   60         (3)The department shall establish criteria for the design
   61  and fabrication of memorial markers, including, but not limited
   62  to, marker components, fabrication material, and size.
   63         (4)(a)The department may install, at no charge to the
   64  applicant, a round aluminum sign panel with a white background
   65  and black letters uniformly inscribed “Drive Safely, In Memory
   66  Of” followed by the decedent’s name.
   67         (b) Upon the request of the applicant and payment of a
   68  reasonable fee determined by the department to offset production
   69  costs, memorial markers may incorporate the available emblems of
   70  belief approved by the United States Department of Veterans
   71  Affairs National Cemetery Administration.
   72         (c)An applicant may request an emblem of belief not
   73  specifically approved by the United States Department of
   74  Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration for
   75  incorporation in a memorial marker as follows:
   76         1. The applicant must certify that the proposed emblem of
   77  belief represents the decedent’s religious affiliation, the
   78  decedent’s sincerely held religious belief system, or another
   79  sincerely held belief system embraced by the decedent which was
   80  functionally equivalent to a religious belief system. The
   81  religion or belief system represented by an emblem need not be
   82  associated with or endorsed by a church or organized religious
   83  denomination or other group. However, the emblem or any graphic,
   84  logo, or symbol it contains may not relate to social, cultural,
   85  ethnic, civic, fraternal, trade, commercial, political,
   86  professional, or military status.
   87         2. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the
   88  department shall accept as genuine an applicant’s statement of
   89  the religious affiliation, sincerely held religious belief
   90  system, or functionally equivalent belief system of the
   91  decedent.
   92         (d) If the department determines that an application for a
   93  memorial marker is incomplete, the department must notify the
   94  applicant in writing as to the additional information required
   95  and that no further action will be taken on the application
   96  until the additional information is provided.
   97         (5) The department shall place a memorial marker for any
   98  approved application at or near the location of the fatality as
   99  close to the right-of-way line as possible in a position that is
  100  least likely to cause driver distraction.
  101         (6) Memorial markers are intended to remind passing
  102  motorists of the dangers of unsafe driving and are not intended
  103  for visitation. The department shall remove a memorial marker if
  104  the department determines that the presence of the marker
  105  creates a safety hazard and post a notice as close as possible
  106  to the spot where the marker was located which indicates that
  107  the marker has been removed and provides contact information so
  108  that the applicant can arrange to pick up the marker. The
  109  department shall store any such markers for at least 60 days,
  110  after which time it may dispose of the marker as it deems
  111  appropriate.
  112         Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2018.