The funeral procession is a tradition that follows the funeral. Family, friends, and loved ones convoy with the casket to support the deceased to their final resting place. It dates back to ancient civilizations when communities would follow the deceased on foot.
Whether you’re attending a funeral or passing a funeral procession in traffic, it’s important to respect the recently deceased and those who are mourning. Proper funeral procession etiquette is founded on awareness and respect.
What is the order of vehicles in a funeral procession?
The funeral director leads the funeral procession in a black sedan marked with white flags and flashing hazard lights to direct attention. Second in line is the funeral car. Following the hearse are vehicles of the immediate family. In traditional processions, a flower car follows the immediate family ahead of attendees. Some services will assign the entire line, but most likely, cars line up one by one.
How do you drive in a funeral procession?
When the funeral ends,
- Display the tag from the funeral director or the procession leader.
- Turn on hazard lights.
- Stay alert, and follow as closely as safely possible. There should not be enough room for an outside vehicle to cut into the procession.
- Nothing must break the line of cars, including red lights and stop signs. The leading vehicle must adhere to stoplights and road signs, but the rest of the procession does not. The line must, however, yield to emergency vehicles.
- Drive slowly
- Phone down
How to drive if you encounter a funeral procession?
If you are driving and encounter a funeral car procession, it’s important to follow simple etiquette to show respect for the recently deceased and the mourning.
- Yield or pull over, if needed, as you would for an emergency vehicle.
- Be respectful: turn down the music, and don’t honk or shout.
- Allow the right-of-way, and allow the entire procession to pass.
- Don’t cut off a procession line or into one. If you come across a procession on the highway, pass only on the left.
Can you be fined for driving through a funeral procession?
Laws vary by state, but you can be pulled over and receive a citation for impeding a funeral procession in many states. You should pull over as you would for an emergency vehicle and yield the right of way until the entire processional passes.
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