December 25, 2018

Here’s why it's important to pull over for a funeral procession

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Pulling over for a funeral procession is not only a kind act, but it’s also mandated by law in many states.

In most states, funeral processions always have the right of way in traffic, except for emergency vehicles, as reported by Southern Living.

So when you notice funeral flags, purple lights, or a convoy of cars, it’s just proper to give them the right of way.

In Alabama, there are no rules governing funeral processions at all. But in the city of Birmingham, it is illegal to cut through a procession.


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A sandwich shop employee in Michigan ended up receiving a ticker and losing his job after he cut into a funeral procession twice while making deliveries.

Rules surrounding funeral processions vary from state to state and city to city, confusing drivers who encounter them on the road. As it is, it is unusual to run into a line of cars streaming through an intersection disregarding stop signs.



In Alabama, there are no rules governing funeral processions at all. But in the city of Birmingham, it is illegal to cut through a procession.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, the rule states that the lead vehicle of a funeral procession must be marked with a flag or other sign and each car in the procession must have its headlights on.

It’s a little different in Kentucky where funeral processions have the right-of-way at all intersections, so processions can ignore red lights and stop signs.

Source: Freepik


In Louisiana, only processions led by a police escort can pass through intersections that would otherwise require them to stop.

But it all boils down to good manners. To not be confused by these varying rules, simply pull over when you encounter a line of cars outfitted with funeral flags of following a hearse.

This is a show of kindness and respect to the grieving family.



It is also for everyone’s safety to give a funeral procession the right of way. Cutting into the procession can lead to accidents.

In July 2018, a Dallas motorcycle cop was killed while riding in the escort of a dead colleague's funeral after a man driving under the influence hit him.

A tribute to Officer Tyrone Andrews, who died of cancer, ended in a tragedy when one of his fellow police officers who was escorting his body to his hometown in Louisiana for burial, was killed during the procession.


Sr. Cpl. Earl “Jamie” Givens was riding ahead of the funeral procession, flashing his motorcycle lights to block traffic from entering Interstate 20 until the cavalcade had passed.

Givens was stationary on his motorcycle with his emergency lights on when the driver of a Kia Sportage struck him, then crashed into a nearby barrier.

Givens was pronounced DOA at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas because of severe injuries.