Funeral Procession Etiquette
In the state of Pennsylvania, laws regarding funeral processions are as follows:
- A vehicle involved in a funeral procession may park or stand irrespective of provisions.
- Vehicles involved in a funeral procession may proceed through a red light or stop sign so long as the lead vehicle entered the intersection on a green light or after a full stop.
- Visual signals are required on all procession vehicles: vehicles must have headlights on, flashers on, and a flag or decal identifying them as being involved in the procession
- Visual signals are authorized on the lead vehicle, who may display flashing or revolving purple lights.
- Vehicles in a funeral procession must yield to emergency vehicles
- There is not a standardized set of laws regarding funeral processions in our country, so if you or a loved one is attending a funeral out of state, click here for state by state information.
What To Do When You Encounter a Funeral Procession:
Funeral processions are typically led by a black car, followed by a hearse and/or limo, and then a procession of vehicles. The end of a funeral procession is typically marked by another black car, or a car carrying two funeral flags or a flashing light
- Do be respectful.
- Do yield, once the lead car has entered traffic the entire procession should be able to follow through without interruption, regardless of if the lights change. Remember that many people will be visiting out of town, shortening your drive to work is not worth someone missing their loved ones burial.
- Do look for the last vehicle in the procession. Once it passes, the normal flow of traffic can resume.
- Don’t cut into or cut off a procession. Processional vehicles are instructed to remain as close together as possible, you could cause a serious accident. Additionally, if a guest becomes lost they may miss the burial of a loved one. Behave appropriately.
- Don’t honk at a car in a funeral procession. Respect that these people don’t want to be involved in the procession anymore than you want to be in traffic.
- Don’t pass a funeral procession on the right side, unless the procession is in the far left lane.
Top 5 Things to Know About Driving in a Funeral Procession:
- You will be driving slowly, even on a highway. Speeds typically do not exceed 55 MPH.
- Stay as close to the car in front of you as possible. Not everyone will be versed in procession etiquette and you don’t want to provide room for other vehicles to enter the procession.
- Stay in line and with the procession at all times, even if it means going through a red light. Do not leave your place in the procession unless there is an emergency.
- If you are a close friend or family member who will be driving with the procession, arrive to the service about 45 minutes prior so that you can park near the front of the procession.
- Whenever possible, familiarize yourself with processional laws in the state you’ll be attending the funeral. You can help alleviate confusion for other guests, which can help prevent an accident during the procession.