CAMBRIDGESHIRE: Roadside tributes to cash victims to be removed after 30 days
BY MAGGIE GIBSON FLOWERS left as roadside tributes to crash victims are being removed by council workers after 30 days because they are distracting drivers. Cambridgeshire County Council maintenance staff are being instructed to remove the flowers and p
BY MAGGIE GIBSON
FLOWERS left as roadside tributes to crash victims are being removed by council workers after 30 days because they are distracting drivers.
Cambridgeshire County Council maintenance staff are being instructed to remove the flowers and placing more permanent memorials is being discouraged for the same reason.
The council says grieving relatives and friends leaving the flowers are also putting their own lives at risk by stopping at dangerous spots to place flowers.
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A council spokesman says the 30-day rule is not new but the council has decided to put it in writing because of the increasing trend for floral tributes.
The county council's director of highways Mark Kemp said: "Passing drivers can easily be distracted by these flowers when they should be concentrating on the road ahead but there are two sides to the coin and there is also the danger to the people putting the flowers there.
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"We have taken this approach for a long time but the trend is growing and therefore we need to make sure we have all the guidelines in place and documented."
Mr Kemp said police liaison officers speak to families who want to place flowers at accident scenes and accompany them to make sure it is done in a safe way.
He said: "Obviously if they keep replacing them then they cannot be accompanied every time and then it is not safe. After 30 days a bunch of cut flowers will not be in a fresh state and our maintenance staff will remove them. If fresh flowers have been left then they will probably leave them."
Mr Kemp said in some counties there were permanent sites in safe places where flowers could be left as tributes to those who die in road accidents. He said this had not happened in Cambridgeshire because of the long distances some people would have to travel. He said, however, that the issue may be raised with councillors to discuss the possibility.