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Funeral Procession

If you are attending a funeral service, you may participate in the funeral procession.  A funeral procession is group of vehicles that go from the church or synagogue to the grave site or cemetery.  The group of vehicles follow one behind the other, and there is usually a lead car and escorts.  There are many rules regarding funeral processions, and these rules vary from state to state. Below is a brief summary of key points about funeral processions.  To get information about your state’s laws, contact your funeral director or consult the Internet.

The funeral procession lead can be a funeral home employee,  law enforcement or other designated officials.  The lead car and escort cars have special markings, such as a special colored lights, or flags, or flashing lights The lead car or escort is responsible for observing the traffic rules.  There is generally an escort for every 10-12 cars in the procession.

If you are in the procession, you will need to identify your vehicle according to your state’s laws.  Some states require you to keep your lights on, your flashers, or a flag, sticker or some other marking to identify your vehicle.  Once cars are identified properly, the procession usually has the right of way through traffic.  Once the lead vehicle has crossed the intersection either by turning or going straight through, all other vehicles in the procession usually have the right-of-way, which allows them to follow the preceding vehicle (as closely as is practical and safe) without stopping for red lights.

If you encounter a funeral procession you should always yield and give the procession the right of way.  Do not attempt to pass the procession, or drive between the cards.  Also, do not try and join the caravan to avoid traffic rules.

At some point, you will be a part of, or witness a procession.  If participating, make sure you understand the rules in your state.  If you encounter one in traffic, please try to be respectful and patient.

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