What is the protocol for a funeral procession?

December 15, 2012 1 Comment

I always pull over, stop and put my flashers on for a funeral procession. If it is a really long procession, should you wait for all vehicles to pass or just the hearse and family car?

State laws say that funeral processions have the right-of-way at intersections when vehicles in such a procession have their headlights and hazard lights lighted, except for a few conditions (yielding to emergency vehicles, for example).

The lead vehicle in the funeral procession may be equipped with a flashing amber light. Vehicles in a funeral procession may have funeral pennants or flags or windshield stickers or flashing hazard warning signal flashers to identify the individual vehicles in such a procession.

When it comes to vehicles that are not part of the funeral procession, the state law only says they may not join the funeral procession unless authorized to do so by a traffic officer. There are no statutes or city ordinances regarding proper protocol for pulling over to the curb in honor of the procession.

“While I can’t speak to earlier laws, at this point it appears pulling over when meeting or being overtaken by a funeral procession is done out of courtesy and respect,” said Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley. “This is a practice I strongly encourage and suggest drivers wait for the entire procession to pass.”

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  1. sheryl White says:

    I always pull over for a funeral but in Pittsfield the other day I did so as they pulled out of funeral home, I was passed in a turning lane to go around me, they were passing inbetween me and the funeral. I couldn’t believe it. Respect should always be shown to the family. You just never know if that hearse is carring someone who served her family, served you food from his farm, served our country, or just died way to young. I will continue to pull over.

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