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. 34 35 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 36 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.