SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following definitions:-
“Memorial marker”, a marker on a public roadway in the commonwealth commemorating one or more persons who died as a proximate result of a crash caused by a driver or homicide.
“Qualified relative”, an immediate family member of the deceased, by marriage, blood, or adoption, such as his or her spouse, son, daughter, mother, father, sister, or brother; a stepmother, stepfather, stepbrother, or stepsister of the deceased; or a person with whom the deceased was in a domestic partnership.
“Supporting jurisdiction”, the division of highways or any county, city or town that establishes a public memorial within its jurisdictional area.
SECTION 2. Chapter 90 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section
Section 62. The public memorial program is intended to raise public awareness of driving fatalities and homicides on public roadways and to afford families an opportunity to remember the victims of such tragedies.
(a) A qualified relative of a victim of a fatal car crash or homicide may make a request for the installation of a memorial marker in a supporting jurisdiction using an application developed by the supporting jurisdiction. The supporting jurisdiction shall have sole responsibility for determining whether a request for a memorial marker is rejected or accepted.
(b) An application for a memorial marker may be submitted by a qualified relative with regard to any fatal crash or homicide that occurred on or after January 1, 2016.
(c) If there is any opposition to the placement of a memorial marker by any qualified relative of any decedent involved in the fatal crash or homicide, the supporting jurisdiction shall deny the request.
(d) The supporting jurisdiction shall also deny the request or, if a memorial marker has already been installed, may remove the marker, if the qualified relative provided false or misleading information in his or her application.
(e) The memorial marker shall consist of a white on blue panel bearing the words “In Memory of (victim’s name)”, followed by the date of the fatal crash or homicide that was the proximate cause of the loss of the victim’s life. A memorial marker may memorialize more than one victim who died as a result of the same fatal crash or homicide. If one or more additional deaths subsequently occur in close proximity to an existing memorial marker, the supporting jurisdiction may use the same marker to memorialize the subsequent death or deaths by adding the names of the additional victims.
(f) A memorial marker shall be maintained for at least 1 year from the date the last person was memorialized on the marker.
(g) The supporting jurisdiction maintains the right to install a marker at a location other than the exact location of the fatal crash or homicide or to relocate a marker due to safety concerns, complaints from property owner, interference with traffic control devices, or other restrictions. In such cases, the supporting jurisdiction may select an alternate location.
(h) The division of highways shall secure the consent of any city or town before placing a memorial marker within the limits of such city or town.
(i) A fee in an amount to be determined by the supporting jurisdiction may be paid in whole or in part from the public memorial program if moneys are made available by the division of highways or may be charged to the qualified relative to the extent moneys are not made available; provided, however, that the fee shall not exceed the costs associated with the fabrication, installation, and maintenance of the memorial marker.
(j) The division of highways shall adopt rules regarding implementation of this section.
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