Roadside memorials for dead kids: cut it the fuck out!

Today (for reasons I won’t go into now) I had to drive an 800km round trip from my home, for fucking nothing.

Just 50km away from home on the return journey I encountered a traffic jam of the worst kind…three roads trying to converge on one freeway (bad enough at the best of times) but the traffic was banked up for 3km each way on each of those roads???

It was only finally getting past the ‘block’ that I realised it was the site of a fatal accident last night, two teenagers had smashed their car into a tree and some young girls were laying some flowers in memorium of their lost friends.

Stop it. JUST DON’T DO IT! Not only does it annoy the fuck out of people trying to get home or wherever they’re going, the rubberneckers are just out there to get some sort of perverse satisfaction. I’m sorry the kids died, really I am, but DO NOT PUT FLOWERS UP THERE, especially with pretty young girls laying the wreaths.

BAN THEM…for fuck’s sakes!

And mom put my underwear in the wrong drawer!

Are you fucking serious?

Roadside memorials are legion here in Aus, and cause much more grief than they offer solace to those mourning the loss of their family and/or friends.

They cause further accidents, massive traffic meltdowns and grief to those who have to travel on the roads where the stupid fuckers wiped themselves out.

Well…don’t they serve as psa’s for safe driving?

Otherwise, I agree that “power grieving” is annoying.

Highway departments are always removing them because they get in the way of the mowers.

When I see roadside memorials, I have to wonder about the people who choose to remember where someone died… really? Is that how you want to remember your friend or relative - on the site where they met a grisly end? That would be like me going into the bathroom where my dad had his fatal heart attack and putting a teddy bear in the shower where he collapsed - I’m pretty sure the friends my folks were visiting wouldn’t much appreciate such a memorial.

Not to mention the poor workers who have to clean up wilted flowers, rain-soaked cards and notes, burnt-down candles, and soggy stuffed toys. I’m with you on this, kambuckta!

The memorial litter got so bad in Colorado that the state started a program to put up signs.

NOTE: I realized this is not true of all Roadside memorials but…

There were two roadside memorials from recent years that stayed up for a long time in my town. At least one of them, I think both but I’m not certain, all of the people in the car died- driver and passengers. Both crashes definitely had multiple fatalities whether or not all the people died in both crashes.

Both of these were single car accidents on surface streets (one, a residential street), driver crashed into a pole in both cases. Both cars were filled with young twenty-somethings. Both crashes happened very late at night, early a.m. hours. What the fuck kind of single car accident results in the deaths of everybody in the car? Hitting a pole and fucking everybody dies? How fast do you have to be going on a residential street to make that happen?

Both of these were party cars, filled with drunk people, driving ridiculously over the speed limit endangering anyone who might have unfortunately come into contact with them. It’s a damn good thing they only killed themselves. The “Life is so precious, they were taken from us too soon” bullshit that adorned these memorials was completely tone deaf.

And some would say, “Oh, but the passengers, you can’t blame them, maybe they tried to tell the driver pull over that he shouldn’t be driving!” Look, he didn’t get that wasted while he was driving. Anyone who can kill every single one of his passengers without so much as one other vehicle with which to collide, that guy was obviously wasted when they all got into the car together and all the idiot drunk passengers thought it was all fun and games.

I would also hear things like, “Yeah, it was stupid but it’s still sad, they had really young kids and now those kids have no parents!” All the more reason not to mourn these assholes. They had kids and they were still joyriding drunk at 3:00am!? Only makes them out to be even more worthless and despicable in my book. This is what grandparents are for (with parents like these, these kids were probably mostly being raised by their grandparents anyway).

But, no. We have to have wreaths and flowers and cards to observe this sad tragic loss of these wonderful people.

Give me a break.

There used to be not so much a memorial but a photo of Sharron Phillips on the highway to Ipswich. The road was always heavy with traffic and the sign was distracting. The lady in question disappeared in the area without trace so I imagine it was also there to perhaps jog memories.

However, the sign lasted for about 20 years and anyone with half a brain could have realised that she was not coming home. (I believe the highway has changed course and it no longer exists). The distraction to drivers far outweighed any value to finding her.

In the main context though, the roadside tributes are no more than a means to advertise what is often a youthful bad decision.

We get those all the time here too. I get it. Go toss some flowers up there, pound a cross into the ground and move on. A few weeks later the city will clean it up. At the cite of one really bad accident the mourners actually painted a few (small, light blue) crosses on the concrete barrier on the side of the bridge they went through. Many years later it’s still there. No, they shouldn’t be spending time out there clogging up traffic, but if they’re just laying some wreathes, let them have their moment.

Put yourself in their shoes. I mean, I know we’re all emotionless robots here at the dope, but pretend like your 20 year old daughter just got hit by a drunk driver. Maybe your uber religious mom wants to go and light a few candles, even if it is on a busy highway.

Um, pretty young girls? If the problem is that the girls are pretty, then it’s your problem, not theirs. Eyes forward and watch the car in front of you.

I was in a bus in Greece, and I felt like we were going just a little off the road at every major curve. The forest of little memorials at each curve didn’t make me feel any better…

In general, I like roadside memorials. I see them as a PSA of the hazards of driving, and specifically, of the hazards of that stretch of road. But in the cases bienville mentions, I suppose I might not. And of course the passengers were partly at fault. There’s no way they all died if they were all belted and seated normally. It’s pretty hard to kill back-seat passengers in a one-car collision in a modern car, especially if they are properly belted so they don’t smash their heads when the car flips.

There is one near me on a busy state highway that has been there for twenty years. Whoever created it planted a tree, which is now 15-20 feet tall, and the highway crews mow around it. Damnedest thing I ever saw.

I am fucking serious.

I am not advocating (semi-)permanent mini-shines.

But putting down some flowers?

Your OP is not about complaining about the mess they did or did not leave, it’s about you complaining some girls caused you to lose some time by leaving some flowers where their loved ones died the night before. It is only about your inconvenience, is casually misogynist and lacks empathy.

It can happen. It happened in the one I mentioned. There were extenuating circumstances where they went off a bridge and landed on concrete, but the problem was that they all braced for the fall and broke their hands/wrists which meant they couldn’t get out of their seatbelts or open their doors. They ended up dying in the fire.

Yes, I know that’s an extreme example, but put three 19 year olds, blowing .20 into a car and smash it into an embankment at 70mph and see if any of them live. You might find out that even if the one in the back survives, he isn’t lucid enough to get out of the car fast enough. Especially if he’s injured.

In North Carolina, people will sometimes get official “Adopt A Highway” signs to memorialize loved ones killed in a car crash. (Sometimes they even act on the purpose of the sign, which is to keep your “adopted” strip of highway litter-free.) There’s one narrow country backroad near my house where four teenagers died after the driver ran his (or his father’s, I don’t remember that detail) brand new, fully loaded Charger into a ditch at an excessive rate of speed. I had the chance to read one of the signs recently; it only has the names of the three passengers, even though I’m sure there would have been space for the driver’s name. The driver’s father was very dismissive in interviews, saying the whole thing was “God’s will”. Wonder if he thought the same applied for the lawsuits that followed.

I pass a roadside shrine near what seems like the safest intersection in the world. The speed limit is 35 mph, roads are straight, lighting is excellent. How the hell did the person die there of all places?

bienville described a car on a surface street in a residential area. Yeah, if you have highways with bridges to fall off that’s different. But a residential surface street? You have to really work hard to kill your passengers there. And I’d say “so drunk he isn’t lucid enough to leave the car” is “partly the fault of the passengers”, even if it’s not related to seat belts.

I too am annoyed by these sleazy little memorials. there is one on the side of Rt. 3 in Plymouth MA- where a (very) drunk teenager married his car with a tree. Monument to stupidity. I like the handwritten notes on the cards “Luv u 4 evah”…“catch ya later”…well, i guess stupid is as stupid does.

Good Christ, what a wanker you are.

Likewise, the one I saw with a sign that exhorted passers-by to “Honk for Robert & Warren”. Because they are listening? Because honking gets them into heaven faster? Because it is equivalent to “liking” on Facebook? I don’t get it.