Notwithstanding any provision of section one, article nineteen of this chapter to the contrary, the commissioner of highways is authorized to propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code providing for the placement of memorial markers or other tributes within state highway rights-of-way to memorialize people who have died as a result of vehicle related accidents.
(a) Legislative rules proposed pursuant to section one of this article shall provide for the placement of markers in a manner that increases public awareness of highway safety and promotes the safe use of the highways and their rights-of-way. The rules shall prescribe circumstances under which:
(1) Memorial markers may be placed near to where a fatal accident occurred, considering available space, property owner complaints or other constraints; and
(2) Decorations, flowers or other memorial ornaments or tributes may be placed on the right-of-way by family members.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of the rules to the contrary, the commissioner may direct or cause the removal of any memorial marker or tribute from a state highway right-of-way, without notice, upon the determination by the commissioner that the removal is necessary for construction, maintenance, safety or other purpose. The state of West Virginia, its agencies and subdivisions, and their officers and employees shall not be liable for any claims arising as a result of the removal of a marker or tribute.