While the Georgia Department of Transportation understands the reason for these memorials, they will soon be a thing of the past.
David Spear, spokesman for GDOT, said the makeshift signs on state and federal highways will be replaced with more uniformed memorial signs provided by GDOT.
Fifteen-inch round white signs with the black-lettered message "Drive Safely, In Memory, (deceased's name)" can be requested by family or friends for $100. The sign will remain in place for one year and then given to the sponsor.
GDOT Commissioner Vance C. Smith Jr., said this will address the desires of family to note their passing and at the same time allow GDOT to maintain safety and a uniformed look along the roadways.
Spear said safety was another factor in the decision for two reasons: the safety of individuals putting the signs out and when family and friends gather at the site on the anniversary of the death.
"They put them too close to the roadway, putting themselves in danger," he said. "We totally understand that and are sympathetic."
Another safety concern is that the signs are a distraction to drivers.
"We try to keep drivers focused on driving, we don't want to have any further tragedies," he said.
Spear said that GDOT maintenance crew will pick up signs while cleaning roadways. "If they encounter a sign they are instructed to pick it up," he said. Spear said this applies only to state and federal highways.
"We only have jurisdiction on state and federal roads, the county is responsible for their roads," he said.
Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown said the county will not follow suit in memorial signs at this time. Brown said there are not enough on the roads.
Spear stressed that the $100 fee is not to generate money for the state. "All money goes for installing and making the signs," he said.
To order a sign log on www.dot.ga.gov for more information.