When families lay their loved ones to rest, they want it to be peaceful. But every year, cars in funeral processions are involved in accidents.
“There are many stories, we'll say, of fender benders involving funeral processions,” said Bob Buhrig, owner of the Myers-Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory in Mechanicsburg.
“I don't know if it's people don't know or they simply don't pay attention,” said Kathleen Ryan, General Counsel and COO of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.
Here's what you need to know about sharing the road with a funeral procession:
- Funeral directors can stop and direct traffic;
- Any vehicle in a funeral procession must have their 4-way hazard lights on and be marked with a flag or magnet;
- New legislation also allows funeral cars to use purple flashing lights.
“On the legal side, no one is allowed – other than an emergency vehicle with both lights and sirens – to interrupt a funeral procession,” Buhrig said. “In fact, people can be cited for cutting into a funeral procession.”
“It's also out of respect,” Ryan said. “They don't want cars dodging in and out of funeral processions.”
Drivers at traffic lights must wait for a funeral procession passing through an intersection, even when the light is green.
“In long funeral processions that can be two or three lights, so it requires all motorists to be paying attention,” Ryan said.
“I know that it's an inconvenience at times, but it's something that all of us are going to go through, and so if we all just show each other a little bit of courtesy, it really goes a long way,” Buhrig said.