A funeral procession travels to St. Peter and also St. Paul Church in Leicestershire, England. Kris Radburn/PA photos via Getty Images
Funeral processions have actually a long, well-off history. But they have the right to be hazardous to your health. And also your wallet.

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Just questioning the Michigan-based Jimmy John"s sandwich shop employee who, in 2011, twice reduced into a funeral procession while making deliveries. He later on received a ticket for fail to yield. And also he lost his job. Yet it could have been worse. In 2009, Carol Struebing was eliminated when she sister drove castle right into the path of one oncoming funeral procession, not realizing the procession had the right-of-way.


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Funeral director say steering in or near a procession is a risky company these days. That"s due to the fact that many drivers in the U.S. Are unaware that the laws and customs bordering funeral processions. They"re likewise increasingly on your phones and distracted while driving. And also some civilization simply don"t care.

The biggest area that confusion, and site of fender-benders, appears to be intersections. Many states have no laws concerning funeral processions. In others, the lead automobile in the procession have to obey traffic signals at intersections, stopping, for example, in ~ a red irradiate or protect against sign. But once the lead car proceeds v the intersection, all the dare behind may follow without stopping— also if the light transforms red in the midst of the procession.

Nevada is the just state the specifically permits the lead vehicle to go through a red light without stopping. And laws in Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana and North Dakota offer funeral processions the right-of-way at all intersections, implying processions deserve to run red lights and also drive through prevent signs.

So what perform you do if you check out a funeral procession pull close an intersection and you aren"t certain of the local rules? treat every intersection together if it"s uncontrolled, states Greg Wickert, a partner in the national and international insurance regulation firm Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer. Or, to think the it one more way, action the same method you do when you watch police or emergency vehicles gaining ready to run a red light. "This is your life we"re talking about," Wickert says, "not simply a ticket or some inconvenience."

And if you"re component of a funeral procession, stay alert. Too plenty of procession participants are mainly pertained to with staying close to the car ahead that them, Wickert says, fearing one outsider will cut in. However this means they"re not totally aware of what"s walk on roughly them.

If you"re not certain of the legislations in your area, you"ll be safest if you save these points in mind as soon as you conference a funeral procession.


Yield come a funeral procession. Cars in the procession should have their headlights on, and often a flag ~ above the hood together well. The final vehicle in the procession usually has two or more flags, plus flashing hazard lights.Once the lead automobile in the procession accordingly goes through a website traffic light or protect against sign, the whole procession is typically allowed to follow. Yield the right-of-way until the entire procession is with the intersection.Never sign up with a funeral procession through tagging onto the end or cutting right into the center of one.If you"re control on a highway, don"t pass a funeral procession top top the right.Funeral processions will certainly yield to emergency vehicles and the direction of a police officer.

Why are funeral processions given special therapy to start with? Tradition. piersonforcongress.com have been processing with the dead because that millennia, solemnly carrying their dearly departed indigenous memorial website to funeral site. Originally, castle proceeded ~ above foot, however eventually horse-drawn wagons were supplied to deliver the bodies, and then motorized vehicles. No matter the conveyance mechanism, funeral processions were greatly revered.

In the U.S., a tradition occurred when engine- funeral processions became the norm. Motorists delivered the right-of-way to all vehicles in a funeral procession, and/or pulled over to the next of the road. This to be a authorize of respect because that the deceased, as well as their mourners.

In many states, this legacy eventually became codified into law. However, when the general ascendancy of thumb is to productivity to a funeral procession, the exact laws vary throughout states and even communities. And many states have actually no laws, simply customs. So also the many well-meaning and also undistracted driver can be stymied.

Experts likewise note that many civilization mistakenly believe you have to pull over as soon as a funeral procession is approaching, also if you"re on the various other side of the road. When this might be a tradition in places, no state legislations require this. In fact, such a move might be hazardous and cause a collision.

And resulting in a collision if trying to present respect because that someone"s loss would be a true tragedy.

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Traditionally, a police escort for the funeral procession ensured much less confusion for everyone on the roads yet that tradition is fading away together well. Part police department won"t perform it at every citing liability issues or lack of easily accessible personnel. Other departments will perform it, but only for a fee.