I could not agree more with the May 31 letter writer questioning the placement of roadside shrines in locations where tragic accidents have occurred.
In some ways, these unofficial memorials are part of what make Maui such a unique and special place to live - somewhat like political candidates during election years sitting horseback and waving at cars passing by or stacked rocks placed by menehune on many of our hiking trails. It is certainly easy to sympathize with grieving friends and family members who have lost a loved one and to understand their motivation for expressing their sorrow and loss in such a manner.
Fact of the matter is, though, they do create a distraction, as it is natural to want to look at them while driving by, taking one's attention from the road and perhaps leading to the need for more roadside shrines.
Expecting the people who suffered the loss and created the shrine to remove them, though, is probably unrealistic. It seems that this should be the responsibility of the county to protect the safety of all those who drive our roads and highways.
Perhaps there should be restrictions in place that would not allow these monuments to begin with, acknowledging our community's spirit of aloha by looking the other way for a few days - as is so prevalent in our island culture - to honor the deceased before removing them for the safety of all.