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Featured FAQ: What are the Rules for a Funeral Procession?

July 19, 2013

The funeral procession takes place when the funeral ceremony and the burial are both held within the local area, as friends and relatives accompany the family to the cemetery. The procession is formed at the place of service.

Of course, operators of vehicles in a funeral procession must exercise care while driving, obeying all of the typical rules of the road. The funeral director can advise you of the traffic regulations and procedures to follow, and Massachusetts breaks down the exact laws surrounding funeral processions. Here, we just want to reiterate the main points:

If you are driving as part of the procession:

  • You may follow the preceding vehicle as closely as is practicable and safe.
  • You must have your headlights and taillights illuminated.
  • Note that pedestrians and operators of all vehicles should yield the right-of-way to you.
  • If the lead vehicle lawfully enters an intersection, the remaining vehicles may continue through the intersection despite any traffic controls (assuming the operator of each vehicle exercises reasonable care toward other vehicles and any pedestrians).
  • You still must yield the right-of-way to an approaching emergency vehicle or when directed to do so by law enforcement personnel.

If you are driving and come across a funeral procession, the general rules for you to follow are:

  • Do not drive between the vehicles forming the procession.
  • Do not pass a funeral procession on a multiple lane highway on the procession’s right side unless the funeral procession is in the farthest left lane.
  • Do not enter an intersection, even if you have a green light, when a funeral procession is proceeding through a red light, unless you may do so without crossing the path of the procession.

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