Oklahoma DOT asks group to remove roadside memorials

| 6/24/2005

Every man has his cross to bear, but the Oklahoma DOT says it can’t bear one group’s crosses.

ODOT isn’t pleased with a large number of memorial crosses that have recently popped up on the state’s roadsides. State officials say the memorials are politically motivated.

More than 3,000 of the crosses have been added to the landscape by Oklahomans for Safe Bridges and Roads, an advocacy group that is pushing for a vote on an increased fuel tax. The organization believes the added revenue would help repair the state’s roadways to save lives and lower highway accidents.

However, Oklahoma law bars roadside signs along highway right-of-ways. An official with ODOT told KTEN-TV that they are asking the group to remove the crosses.

According to the group’s Web site, a petition was filed with the state in September 2004 calling for a statewide vote for a constitutional amendment to raise the current tax on diesel fuel by 8 cents and on gasoline by 5 cents.