Roadside memorial restrictions go too far
Staff at the Rocky View Weekly is surprised to see the County implement time and location restrictions on roadside memorials. (See story on page 3).
Here in the newsroom, we see a number of police reports about people who have died on local highways.
This week’s police notebook (on page 4) includes two fatal accidents on local highways.
It is not right for a municipality to institute regulations on people’s grief.
Councillor Lois Habberfield said, “You shouldn’t remember where a person died, you should remember where they lived,” but everyone grieves in their own way.
In fact, most people in North America frequently visit dead relatives’ gravesites to pay their respects.
If putting up a tasteful memorial of a loved one where they were killed helps next of kin deal with their loss, they should have that right without limitations.
We don’t feel small crosses, teddy bears or flowers on the side of the road are a great distraction for other drivers as most people know what they represent and don’t give them a second glance.
For the people who place them there, they are a peaceful way of concretely representing the person they loved or bringing awareness to the dangers on the road where they lost someone close to them.
If the memorials interfere with ongoing road maintenance, the County should have the right to remove them, but that should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Of course we need councillors to govern certain areas of residents’ life such as creating bylaws, implementing taxes and providing services for that tax money.
However, when it comes to residents showing their grief by placing some personal items on the side of the road where they were killed, the government should take a step back.