Warning signs, instead of crosses, OK'd as memorials
HB182 • Utah Senate approves measure to get around court ruling.
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Fallen Highway Patrol troopers will be honored by safety signs — instead of white crosses that courts ordered to be removed — under a bill given final passage Wednesday by the Utah Senate.

It voted 26-0 for HB182 by Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, and sent it to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.

The 14 new signs will have safety messages — reminding people to do such things as wear seat belts or slow down — along with a placard with the name of a fallen trooper. The signs, which will cost $20,000, will be placed either near where the troopers were killed or in communities where they served.

"Not only do we recognize troopers, but it helps remind people what's happening on our highways … that they need to buckle up and drive safely," said Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, the Senate sponsor of the bill. He noted that 21 troopers were hit by cars on highways in the last year alone.

"This is a great way to honor our troopers, but also enforce the law," said Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem.

The state recently was forced to remove 14 white crosses honoring fallen troopers because of a lawsuit brought by atheists. Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, called that requirement "insulting," but said the new signs are "the second best choice, and I'm glad we at least have this option."

ldavidson@sltrib.com