In Arizona there are many of these "Shrines"
I drive past this one often. I decided today to stop and take a few pictures of it. I found it interesting the extent the family and friends of this young man have gone to to "Memorialize" him in the spot where he died.
Placing small decorated crosses or other memorials at the side of the highway to mark fatal car accidents has spread from regions of the United States, like the Hispanic Southwest, where they are known as descansos, or resting places, throughout the country. The custom of marking the place of death with a small cross was brought to Mexico and the southwestern United States by Spanish colonists in the 17th century. Later settlers in the region expanded the custom to include leaving small crosses at the spots wherever a casket was set down on the way to the campo santo, or burial ground. Today many people regard roadside crosses as sacred but not necessarily religious.
Everyone knows that these small memorials are popular, and based in tradition . The state of New Mexico, has made it a misdemeanor to remove or vandalize these homemade shrines, in other parts of the country where the custom is not deep-rooted, many people are offended by them. Controversy surrounding them is frequent.
United States, the legal situation varies state to state. In California, residents must pay a state fee of $1,000. The states of Colorado, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin ban such memorials. Other states impose specific requirements.
In Arizona ADOT has been removing them because of its policy to not have any memorials on their on-ramps or highways, even if they are off to the side, angering people who have lost loved ones on Arizona's roads.
Those who feel the need to memorialize their loved ones near the roadways where they died will continue to do so, regardless of legislation or other attempts at control. In many cases, where authorities have removed roadside shrines, families and loved ones simply replace them. Tradition is a powerful force in society.
Rest in Peace Jose