1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default I Know I Am Throwing A Wet Cat Into A Hornets Nest With This One

    As the title reads, I know this is really going to stir things up, especially with my thoughts at the end of the article.

    Striving for Balance in an Age of Roadside Shrines
    These testaments of grief have the tacit approval of the province, but police are concerned about their size and proliferation

    Sandra McCulloch Times Colonist Sunday, February 08, 2004

    Memorial for Kenny Hamilton and Travis Bateman sits just off the Old Island Highway more than six months after the crash that killed the two teenagers.

    CREDIT: Darren Stone, Times Colonist

    A Christmas wreath, a worn pair of lacrosse gloves and heartfelt messages from friends adorn a Hydro pole on the Old Island Highway.

    "In loving memory of Kenny and Travis," reads a sign -- a tribute to two 19-year-old men who died in a car crash on July 16, 2003. Travis Bateman and Kenny Hamilton were just two of a rash of fatalties on Island roads last year and, as with many of the others, a roadside memorial still marks the spot where their horrible crash occurred.

    On the Trans-Canada Highway near MacKenzie Avenue is a shrine for Matthew Proud, Jesse Briscoe, Steve Harris and Chantel Williams, ages 17 to 20, who died from injuries suffered in a crash on Nov. 3. A small grove of crosses is surrounded by withered flowers, messages and mementoes.

    No matter where you drive in Greater Victoria or up the Malahat, you're likely to come across a roadside shrine marking someone's death. In the past, a bunch of flowers left at the roadside would soon disappear.

    But now roadside memorials are becoming more permanent fixtures. And it looks like they'll stay around as the province takes a "hands off" approach, citing a respect for grieving families.

    JJM Maintenance doesn't remove the shrines unless they pose a safety hazard to those who stop by. The maintenance crews take a "very sensitive" approach to the shrines, said JJM general manager Richard Harold.

    The province has developed a policy in the last year that deals with roadside memorials, said Jeff Knight, spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation and Highways.

    "Generally speaking, we try to respect the family's concerns. If the memorials are a safety hazard, then we would look at removing them."

    But Knight doesn't know of any memorials removed because of safety issues.

    The proliferation of the elaborate roadside displays are a concern for some police officers. "It seems that shrines have gotten bigger," said Const. Chris Horsley of Saanich police.

    "In future, something is going to have to be done to address them. I think these shrines are falling through the cracks."

    Lynette Bateman, mother of Travis, hopes the memorials are useful in reminding motorists to drive carefully and not drink and drive.

    While Bateman finds roadside memorials to other people troubling, she has a good feeling about the one honouring her son and Kenny Hamilton.

    "(Our family) is touched by it. We don't need it, but it's a public display and it means something."

    But news of more senseless deaths on area roads hits her hard, said Bateman.

    "I'm extremely hurt and (more traffic deaths) bother me. I think the problem is not going to go away. I think the memorials are a cry from friends that says, 'Look what can happen.' "

    If roadside messages get through to someone and save a life, then the memorials are valuable, said Bateman.

    Personally, she avoids the accident site and memorial for her son. "I don't drive by it very much. I go another way. I don't need to see (the shrine), but I'm curious. When I drive by the other memorials, they bother me. Travis's touches me.

    "If it would make a difference..." she paused. "We want it to make a difference."

    Honouring someone at the spot along a busy road is different than a cemetery because it's so public, said Bateman.

    "A cemetery is a private place. This is a public place and I guess it's a message saying 'Don't forget.' "

    Copyright 2004 Times Colonist (Victoria)


    Generally speaking, I don't have a problem with road side memorials, we have all seen them, and some are really very nice. Almost a Japanese Garden type. There is one in the south end of Calgary, on the side of the ramp at the end of the Deerfoot Trail. It's in memory to a LODD for a paramedic. However, the ones that are listed in the above article, are all depicting very serious and ugly accidents that didn't need to be. The first one was a group of guys who were doing in excess of 50mph on a road that is rated for 30mph, and they missed a corner, but not the telephone pole.

    The second, on TCH and McKenzie, was a Honda CRX, with 4 adults in it. Again they were at speeds in excees of 100mph. These are just two examples of this was not an "ACCIDENT" it is an "INCIDENT". These were stupid people doing stupid things, and time ran out for them.

    I am sorry for the loss to the families and their friends, I truly am, but neither of those incidents needed to happen. Its not like they hit some black ice while doing everything reasonable to stay safe. They were doing stupid things, like overloading cars, no seat belts, and over excessive speeds.

    There is another shrine just at the south end of our district, where a 38000 litre propane tanker crashed and rolled. The driver was dead on impact, and the highway was closed for 24hrs. In the end it turned out he was well over the 0.08 for BAC! There has been a shrine for him for over 3yrs now. Again this was a preventable incident. All he had to do was either not drink, or not get into the cab of the truck. Fortuantely no one else was hurt in that event, although several homes in the area were evacuated, as were the drivers of all vehicles in close proximity.

    Sometimes really bad things happen to nice people (those are the words of our Capt), and that is all part of the job, but the events listed above are neither of those. Again.. stupid people doing stupid things, and they got caught. There is nothing funny about it and there is no humour, but there is a lot of disgust as well as hurt, in each one of them. Its just too bad that no one will ever really "learn" from these mistakes/events. Someone somewhere is doing almost exactly the same thing, somewhere in the world even as this is being posted. And that is the really sad part about all this.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ullrichk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deleted by the forum gremlins
    Posts
    1,663

    Default

    The only complaint I have ever heard about roadside memorials is that they pose a hazard to the ROW mowers (the guys on the tractor, not the tractor itself) and also to the general public from debris being thrown when the mowers pass by. Apparently they try not to knock them over, but it can't always be helped.

    An ounce of prevention or a little common sense and the whole issue would be moot.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    mcaldwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    3,022

    Default

    There is one particularly bad corner on our only road to the village where I have responded to many rollovers, and one fatality. The fatality was a local individual who was hit by a bus after skidding into the oncoming lane.

    There is now a wooden cross erected on the spot just behind the guardrail (by the driver of the bus, although he was not at fault for the accident). That fellow places a new wreath every 6 months so it is always bright and visible, and I do honestly think it has played a role in the reduction of accidents there.

    I have not attended an accident on that corner in two years, and my average for the 5 years previous was 2-3 per year. Even with all the warning signs that were in place all along, people seem to pay attention to the cross and wreath more than anything else.

    Certainly it must come down to moderation and management in regards to these shrines. But in regards to our local cross, whether it's effects are fact or superstition, I'm not going to be the one to take that little cross down.



    (BTW Malahat, Does the cat have to be "Wet"? I just want to know for the next time I find a hornet's nest. )
    Last edited by mcaldwell; 02-08-2004 at 07:38 PM.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    gordoffemt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Greendale, IN, USA
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Malahat, I agree with your comments and don't think that they should stir up anything too bad.

    What I don't get is that in the article, it's pointed out twice that the one kid's mom is bothered by or has a problem with other roadside memorials, but her son's is OK. Why is that?
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default

    After I posted this one, I started to have second thoughts about how I presented some of my arguements, in particular after reading MCaldwell's post.

    I want to add that I am not against the roadside memorials in a very general concept. We all know that every person expresses grief in a different manner and a group will express it differently than an individual - I do not have any problem with that part at all. I guess mostly my point here is that a simple cross, a bundle of flowers or maybe a small cairn is not too strong a presentation, but it still makes its point. And I do appreciate that a person or a family will want to do that to continue the grieving process, which is a good thing.

    However, the cenetaph (and I have no other word for it) that was created when the CRX crashed is still in place. There were people gathered around for a 24 hr vigil that went on for days. There were TV crews and trucks, police and no less than 6 civilian cars present. At first it was a media smorgasbord. AND they did interrupt traffic flow because the incident took place less than 200 yrds from a very busy intersection, on a major highway. Traffic was buggered for days, while the vigil went on. It is at that point that I pretty much started to get really annoyed. I can only say that I think it was more blind luck and really good fortune than anything the police presence did to forestall another accident while that went on.

    Creating a marker for a lost loved one is an important part of the healing process, and often will serve as a reminder for others to take care, as MCaldwell has pointed out. Usually those places are also very dangerous when under adverse weather conditions. The area where the CRX crashed is not a really bad accident area, it has good visibility and lots of lighting. When is too much too much?
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    mcaldwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    3,022

    Default

    Wasn't that CRX incident the one where there were like 7 teenage kids in the car doing 100+ kph, and they suspected the driver had a girl on his lap?

    It usually seems like the "High School" accidents bring out the biggest response. I am not surprised at what you are describing. I a have seen similar reactions around here over the years.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default

    You are mostly right on the money, there MC. There were only four of them in the car, but yes, the girl was reported as being on the lap of someone in the front seat. The person who died in hospital was also the one who did 911, but before that he was talking on his cell to a friend somewhere else, and was telling of the speeds they were doing at the time.

    This incident came literally on the heels of the story about the lacrosse players, there was only a few weeks between both events. That is the sad part about all this.

    Just last week one of the Victoria High Schools did a walking demonstration to City Hall because of the number of road fatalities involving people under the age of 25. Each "walker" represented one fatality. It was quite a number, maybe they will get the message through - we can only hope so.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    gordoffemt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Greendale, IN, USA
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Just last week one of the Victoria High Schools did a walking demonstration to City Hall because of the number of road fatalities involving people under the age of 25.
    Maybe the high school kids should've had to walk past the roadside memorials and listen to the stories of the senseless deaths that occured there. That may have got the message through.
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    282

    Default

    In my area when there is a fatality on the roadway for whatever reason the corner of Highway Patrol Paints a white cross on the road for each victim. There are a few places in my response area with 3-5 crosses due to multiple victims in one wreck or just plain multiple fatal wrecks. There are still a few wreaths and other markers put out by family members but the crosses painted on the roads in my opinion are a better option. Just as visable but not overly distracting.
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

    Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

    IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Duffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    780

    Default

    There has been talk in my area of what to do with these memorials. Some are large enough as to cause a hazard to traffic by blocking sight lines etc.

    Perhaps memorials should be subject to the same ordinances as any other type of signage as it pertains to size and location. Maybe allow a full blown memorial for a limited period of time with a smaller symbol left permanently.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    PFire23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    On a rock, surrounded by water
    Posts
    1,845

    Default

    Kind of off topic here, but not totally. I had the opportunity to discuss the number of teen fatalities that we've seen in our neck of the woods since last summer with a police officer and he agreed with me on a comment that I made to him. I said that perhaps teens should be subjected to the harsh realities of driving while stupid. Why shouldn't they be shown very graphic photo's or video's of what REALLY happens to you when you get behind the wheel and are irresponsible. Forget the mock up crap, these kids aren't stupid, they know it's "pretend", just acting. It may stick with them for a short while, but eventually like everything else it's forgotten, lost in the heat of the moment. I think that having them see blood and guts and gore from the aftermath of an accident caused by stupidity would hit home harder than a make believe accident scene. Let them hear the screams, let them see the pain....... that they won't forget. Harsh?? Perhaps, but having a life snuffed out at 17 or so, leaving behind a shocked and grieving family is far harsher in my mind. Sure the memorials are nice reminders to family, friends and perhaps even deterrents to some, but how soon do you think most of the kids will "forget". Just today I happened to see a "N" (new) driver run a yellow light at the last possible second, at excessive speed....... he was turning left and almost lost control of his car, I just shook my head. I shook my head because this occurred ONE block away from the memorial (CRX incident) that Malahat27 has spoken of. So how much of a reminder or a deterrent is it? Perhaps brutally graphic, extreme scare tactics are what it's going to take. As a parent of a child who will be eligible to obtain his driver's license in one year, it worries me. Will he be responsible enough? Will he remember all the lessons and stories of those who have learned the hard way before him? Will he be wise enough not to get in a vehicle with a driver who shouldn't be operating a motor vehicle? Personally, the closer my son gets to being 16, the more I become convinced that we are licensing our children to drive at too young an age. They are still convinced that they are invincible, still convinced that bad things only happen to other people. They are still sheltered, still protected by the warmth of home. They haven't the experience to command vehicles on the road responsibly (yes I know there are those who are responsible, but there are so many more who are not). We as adults know how things can happen in the blink of an eye, but do our children?

    My son agreed with me regarding the graphic presentation as well. Like me he thinks that would have a much greater impact than a performance put on with the intent of "educating". Hands on learning is the best teaching method there is, since we really are trying to avoid having our children learn this lesson hands on, the closest they will come is seeing actual photo's and footage of the carnage caused by stupidity, inexperience and the "invincibility factor".
    To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

    IACOJ-WOT proud

    GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    282

    Default

    Jenn
    They used to show videos similar to what you are talking about around here back in the early 70's and 80's when you were enrolled in drivers ed in HS. There is too much hand wringing over how that may mentally affect the youth of today so they stopped doing it. Plus the other side of it is how many parents are going to give you the approval to video tape their child dead or dying in a car wreck and the reproduce the tape and show it around to other people? Now with HIPPA being big issue here just imagine showing that tape in class one year and a student remarks hey that was my sister, and breaks down crying, and shortly there after you find a nice lawsit on your desk? The lawyers and liberal judges have all but assured that your method while it may be effective, will never happen again.
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

    Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

    IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    RxFire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    301

    Default

    They used to show videos similar to what you are talking about around here back in the early 70's and 80's when you were enrolled in drivers ed in HS. There is too much hand wringing over how that may mentally affect the youth of today so they stopped doing it.
    But yet these are the youth who listen to gangsta-rap, have graphic video games, and lets not mention what you can rent from Blockbuster.
    IACOJ
    Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!
    http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register