Victims Memorial Sign Program

victims memorial sign example


Effective January 1, 2002, Streets and Highways Code Section 101.10 (Assembly Bill 965, Statutes of 2001) directs Caltrans to place and maintain memorial signs along state highways that read "Please Don't Drink and Drive" followed by: "In Memory of (deceased victim's name)." A state highway is any freeway, expressway, or conventional highway operated by the State of California.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), upon request from an immediate family member of a person who was killed by a driver intoxicated with drugs or alcohol, will place and maintain a sign in memory of the victim.


2006 California Legislative Report (PDF)

Victims Memorial Sign Program Guidelines (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions


Caltrans developed the following guidelines for placing victim memorial signs on state highways in accordance with the provisions of Streets and Highways Code Section 101.10.

I. Qualifications for a Memorial Sign
The following conditions must be satisfied to qualify for a memorial sign on a state highway:
A At least one of the deceased victim's immediate family members requests a memorial sign. An immediate family member is a spouse, child, stepchild, brother, stepbrother, sister, stepsister, mother, stepmother, father or stepfather. 
B The accident occurred on or after January 1, 1991.
C Either (1) or (2) is true:
  (1) The intoxicated driver was convicted of second-degree murder, or gross vehicular manslaughter, or vehicular manslaughter.
  (2) The intoxicated driver died or could not be prosecuted because of mental incompetence. Note: An intoxicated driver who died does NOT qualify as a victim.
II. Installation of Memorial Signs on State Highways
 The following are requirements for placing memorial signs on state highways:
A Signs will be installed in accordance with applicable Caltrans policies and standards for signs. This includes posts, hardware, materials, vertical, longitudinal, and lateral positioning.
B Caltrans will NOT install or maintain a memorial sign if there is written opposition from any immediate family member.
C Only one sign will be installed in one direction of travel on the right side of the state highway in close proximity to where the accident occurred at a location where it is safe and practical to do so.
D Caltrans will maintain the sign for 7 years or until the condition of the sign has deteriorated to a point where it is no longer serviceable, whichever occurs first.
E Only one sign will be installed per accident. Multiple victim names may appear on the sign.
F A sign will NOT be installed in the median of any state highway.
III. How to Apply
To request a memorial sign please submit items noted in A through D below to the local District Office of Caltrans responsible for the area where the accident occurred (see District Office Mailing Addresses by County at the bottom of this page).
Once approved, the applicant must pay a fee of $1,000 to the local District Office to cover the cost of administration, installation and maintenance of the memorial sign.
A An immediate family member of the deceased victim must write to the local Caltrans District Office requesting a memorial sign. Any person may also request a sign if that person also submits written consent from an immediate family member.
  Dear District Director,

I [Jane Doe] am requesting and give my consent that a sign be placed on the state highway memorializing my brother [John Doe] in accordance with the Caltrans Victims Memorial Sign Program.

(optional paragraph)
I understand that this request becomes public information, however, my family and I also request that Caltrans please respect our privacy and not release my name or contact information on file with the State of California to persons within the Department, or other interested parties, beyond those staff responsible to process and maintain file information for this sign.

[Jane Doe's signature]
[Return Address and Contact Telephone Number]
[E-mail address if available]
B The applicant must provide a copy of the accident report to the local Caltrans District Office. This is needed to verify the date and location of the accident. Other equally reliable sources for this information supplied by the applicant will be considered.
C The applicant must provide proof of conviction to the local Caltrans District Office from court records, or proof of intoxication from coroner's records if the driver died. Other equally reliable sources for this information supplied by the applicant will be considered.
D The applicant must provide the exact spelling of the deceased victim's name as it is to appear on the memorial sign.

Caltrans Local District Offices

Mail your request to the local office that corresponds to the County the accident occurred in.

District Boundary Map: District: Contact Info:
Caltrans District Map 1 ATTN: District Director
P.O. Box 3700
Eureka, CA 95502-3700
(707) 445-6600
2 ATTN: District Director
1657 Riverside Drive
Redding, CA 96001
(530) 225-3426
3 ATTN: District Director
703 B Street
Marysville, CA 95901
(530) 741-4211
4 ATTN: District Director
P. O. Box 23660
Oakland, CA 94623-0660
(510) 286-4444
5 ATTN: District Director
50 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-5415
Monterey Peninsula area: (831) 372-0862
Salinas area: (831) 753-0187
San Luis Obispo area: (805) 549-3111
Santa Barbara area: (805) 568-0858
Santa Cruz Area: (831) 423-0396
6 ATTN: District Director
1352 W. Olive Avenue
Fresno, CA 93728
(559) 488-4082 or
(559) 488-4248 or (559) 444-2409
7 ATTN: District Director
100 South Main Street, Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 897-3656
8 ATTN: District Director
464 W. 4th St.
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 383-4561
9 ATTN: District Director
500 South Main Street
Bishop, CA 93514-3423
(760) 872-0601
10 ATTN: District Director
1976 Charter Way
Stockton, CA 95205
(209) 948-7543
11 ATTN: District Director
4050 Taylor Street
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 688-6670
12 ATTN: District Director
1750 East 4th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(657) 328-6000