On June 16, 2014, a Virginia guy was pulled end by the police for to run a red light while control in a funeral procession. Together a result, R.G. Crackhead missed his great-grandmother’s burial. The Alexandria police officer pulled behind Spinner with his red and blue emergency lamp flashing after ~ witnessing the driving with a red light, along with the rest of the funeral procession. Spinner gotten rid of the big yellow funeral procession tag from his rear-view mirror and furiously waved it the end his window, hope the officer would certainly let that proceed. That didn’t.

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Confusion and also inconsistency abounds about when and whether a motorist in a funeral procession deserve to run a red light. There is much an ext at stake than missing a funeral. Together you have the right to imagine, the likelihood that a significant accident involving personal injury or property damages increases exponentially if you have actually a lengthy string of dare streaming v a red irradiate in hefty traffic. Countless claims and subrogation dollars cave in the balance. An expertise of how funeral processions influence the legitimate rights and also remedies of motorists and their insurers is plainly a prerequisite come the effective taking care of and/or subrogation of the thousands of insurance insurance claims that circulation from mishaps involving funeral processions.


Generally

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A funeral procession is a convoy the friends, relatives, and family members complying with the hearse native the funeral home to the burial site. Through the periods it has actually varied from civilization walking and carrying the deceased, to the contemporary entourage that limousines and also automobiles. Many states have enacted law governing the procedures and traffic regulations governing a procession and also the legal demands for yielding come one. Quite often, every vehicles in the funeral will be significant with a violet funeral flag authorize by the funeral home. All vehicle drivers will be told to revolve their headlights on. The hearse will be the first vehicle in the procession adhered to by the spouse, children, immediate family members members, and also friends. In many states the lead automobile must observe all traffic lights, yet when the lead vehicle has proceeded v an intersection, the remainder of the funeral train may proceed there is no stopping. The procession is frequently accompanied by regulation enforcement vehicles to ensure the safety of the procession when running a red light. Cars traveling in the opposite direction that a procession might yield out of respect, if lock want, yet in most states, they don’t need to yield, sluggish or prevent at all. Clearly, this is a recipe for disaster.

Obviously, identification of a funeral procession is vitally important. This usually requires the light of headlights, but can include flags or even flashing lights. Consistency is lacking and also if you take trip to an additional state for a relative or friend’s funeral, over there is no informing what the law could be. Not just do the legislations governing funeral processions vary wildly from state come state, there is additionally mass confusion concerning the applications of such laws within certain states. Nevada specifically enables the lead automobile to actually go through a red light. 5 states (Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, and also North Dakota) approve a funeral procession the right-of-way at any kind of intersection without regard to any type of traffic control signal. There, the command driver can make any type of necessary transforms or motions regardless the the shade of the light, implying the it deserve to run a red light. Iowa law immunizes vehicles in a funeral procession from violation the traffic regulations unless the automobile is operation recklessly. Six various other states statutorily carry out for the continuity of funeral processions in ~ intersections yet do no specifically administer the procession v the right-of-way. Some states have no legislations at all.

With the help of research study by the Connecticut Office of legislative Research and also Nicole Ways, a Marquette regulation student and MWL legislation clerk, let’s take a closer look at the details laws of every 50 states.

Laws of every States

ALABAMA: There are no state regulations governing funeral processions. However, the city the Birmingham has actually an ordinance the prohibits motorists from driving with a funeral procession if that is reasonably obvious to the general public that an vehicle is in a funeral procession. Therefore, the procession has the right-of-way to proceed as a single unit v intersections and traffic signals. Sloss-Sheffield stole & steel Co. V. Allred, 247 Ala. 499, 500, 25 So.2d 179, 180 (1945).

ALASKA: There are no state regulations governing funeral processions.

ARIZONA: The law enables a funeral escort car driver stop a course D driver’s license and also exhibiting a red or red and blue light to (1) straight the vehicles in the procession and also other vehicles draw close the procession come stop, proceed, or make any kind of necessary motions without for to any kind of traffic control device, and (2) exceed the speed limit by approximately 15 miles per hour come overtake the procession so that can straight traffic in ~ the following intersection. All various other vehicles and pedestrians, except emergency vehicles, must yield the right-of-way come funeral processions. Vehicles in the procession must exercise due care. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 28-776.


ARKANSAS: There are no state regulations governing funeral processions.

CALIFORNIA: The only regulation California has concerning funeral processions prohibits anyone from disregarding any kind of traffic signal or direction provided by a peace officer in uniform authorized to escort a procession. Cal. Veh. Password § 2817.

COLORADO: There space no state regulations governing funeral processions, however, Denver amendment Municipal Code, § 517 offers that vehicles and escorts in a funeral procession have actually the right-of-way and also may proceed regardless of web traffic signals. This vehicles have to be properly figured out by lighted headlamps and also drivers should follow the car ahead that them as close together is practicable for safe operation. Also though funeral processions have actually the right-of-way, there have to be actual or constructive an alert to other drivers that such a procession is present. Franklin v. Nolan, 472 P.2d 166 (Colo. App. 1970).

CONNECTICUT: There are no state laws governing funeral processions.

DELAWARE: The regulation prohibits any kind of vehicle not component of a funeral procession native driving in between or interfering v a funeral procession. All vehicles in a funeral procession need to be as closely-spaced as safely possible, and must have actually headlights and taillights lit. Vehicles in a funeral procession need to exercise early caution and yield the right-of-way come emergency vehicles or as soon as directed through a police officer. Del. Code Ann. §§ 7101-7103.

DISTRICT the COLUMBIA: There are no laws governing funeral processions.

FLORIDA: Florida law specifies a funeral procession as two or an ext vehicles accompanying the human body of a dead human in the daytime once all vehicles have their headlights lit. The command vehicle, if not a regulation enforcement vehicle, must have actually a flashing amber light. The regulation requires every pedestrians and vehicles, other than emergency vehicles, to productivity right-of-way to the procession. If the lead car enters an intersection legally, the various other vehicles may follow it nevertheless of a changing traffic signal, protect against sign, or productivity sign provided they exercise due care to prevent collisions. Other vehicle drivers are prohibited indigenous driving in between vehicles in the procession, if their headlights space on, unless directed by a police officer. Fla. Stat. § 316.1974.

GEORGIA: There space no state legislations governing funeral processions, however, Georgia adheres to the Uniform traffic Act, i beg your pardon does not exempt vehicles in a funeral procession from the obligation to watch traffic control lights. Gaudry v. Brandt, 166 S.E.2d 737 (Ga. App. 1969).

HAWAII: There space no state regulations governing funeral processions.

IDAHO: Idaho law defines a funeral procession as 2 or more vehicles accompanying the human body of a dead person in the daytime. Funeral processions have the right-of-way at intersections nevertheless of traffic regulate devices. The funeral escort vehicle may (1) direct the various other vehicles in the procession to continue through one intersection or to make any other motions or turns, regardless of any type of traffic manage device, and also (2) exceed the rate limit by as much as 15 miles every hour as soon as overtaking the procession to straight traffic at the next intersection. Processions need to yield the right-of-way come emergency vehicles or as soon as directed by a police officer. The law likewise provides the whenever the funeral escort car enters one intersection, the other vehicles deserve to follow without regard to any type of traffic control device, provided they practice reasonable care. Idaho password § 49-2701.

IOWA: Iowa regulation is not specific regarding intersections, however provides that chauffeurs of vehicles in the procession cannot be charged through violating web traffic rules and regulations with regard to website traffic devices and also signals, uneven operating the car recklessly. Funeral procession command vehicles must have flashing emergency lights, lit headlights, and identifying flags. Every vehicles in the procession must keep headlights lit and also drive close together. Various other vehicles, other than emergency vehicles, must yield the right-of-way come the procession. The legislation is not particular regarding intersections, yet it offers that motorists of vehicles in the procession cannot be charged through violating web traffic rules and regulations with regard to web traffic devices and signals, unless operating the car recklessly. Iowa code § 321.324A.

KANSAS: There space no state legislations governing funeral processions.

KENTUCKY: Kentucky grants funeral processions the right-of-way at intersections without regard to any kind of traffic control signal. The escort car driver can direct the procession to proceed through one intersection or make any type of necessary activities despite any type of traffic control signals. This suggests that the command funeral escort vehicle can neglect a red web traffic signal. A funeral procession is characterized as at the very least two vehicles accompanying the human body of a dead human when every car has the headlights lit or display screens a pennant. The is not particular as to even if it is funeral processions might go with a red light, however it grants them right-of-way in ~ intersections if the escort vehicle displays flashing red, yellow, or blue lights, and also each car exercises early out care. Processions need to yield come emergency vehicles, trains, or as soon as directed otherwise by a police officer. Various other vehicles cannot drive between, interfere with, or happen the procession uneven directed through a police officer. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 189.378.

LOUISIANA: There room no state regulations governing funeral processions, yet vehicles in funeral processions are not automatically exempt indigenous obeying website traffic signals uneven a regional ordinance claims otherwise. Coleman v. Townsend, 948 So.2d 369 (La. App. 2007).

MAINE: There room no state regulations governing funeral processions.

MARYLAND: Maryland law permits anyone in a procession to pass through a red light as long as the first vehicle in the procession went with it when it was still green. This privilege is accorded only if a vehicle’s headlights room on. If the procession goes with the red signal, any type of other automobile with a environment-friendly light can enter the intersection only if it will certainly not overcome the procession’s path. Md. Password Ann. § 21-207.

MASSACHUSETTS: Massachusetts law gives that a funeral procession that ten vehicles or less has the right to use any type of public roadway subject to the very same regulations and also restrictions as “pleasure vehicles.” Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 85 § 14A.

MICHIGAN: Michigan law offers funeral processions the right-of-way in ~ intersections, but it is not certain with respect to website traffic signals. Funeral processions have the right-of-way end all other vehicles, except emergency vehicles, when it is going come a cemetery. The vehicles in the procession must display screen a one-of-a-kind orange flag to it is in accorded this privilege. The law has no provision requiring lighted headlights. The Michigan courts have apparently characterized “place of burial” to encompass the procession come both the location where the solutions are conducted and also the cemetery. However, the legislation is not details with respect to intersections controlled by traffic lights, however Michigan courts have understood it to include signalized intersections as well, return the driver in the procession is meant to practice due care. Mentel v. Monroe public Schools, 209 N.W.2d 506 (Mich. App. 1973). Michigan legislation prohibits passing with a funeral procession. Mich. Comp. Legislations § 257.654.

MINNESOTA: Minnesota law normally requires all vehicles, except emergency vehicles, to productivity the right-of-way come a funeral procession when all the cars are in close formation with headlights lit. Due to the fact that it contains no other details language developing precedence in ~ intersections managed by website traffic lights, the implication appears to be the all vehicles should observe the signal. Minn. Stat. § 169.20.

MISSISSIPPI: There room no state legislations governing funeral processions.

MISSOURI: A funeral procession is characterized as two or more vehicles accompanying the body of a dead human from a funeral establishment to the place of last disposition or a location where additional funeral services will it is in performed. Funeral command vehicles must have an amber or violet light or lens or alternate flashing headlamps. The law offers the procession the right-of-way, other than it need to yield to emergency vehicles. Once the lead automobile lawfully enters an intersection, all other vehicles in the procession might follow without stopping, however must practice due care. Every vehicles in the procession must follow each other as closely as for sure possible, and also toll-free i is given to processions on any toll bridges, tunnels, or other roads. Various other vehicles are prohibited from driving between, joining, attempting to pass, or crossing the route of a funeral procession. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 194.500-509.

NEBRASKA: There room no state laws governing funeral processions, however, one Omaha city ordinance prohibits vehicles native driving with a funeral procession when they room in motion and also when the vehicles space conspicuously designated by headlamps or flags. Vehicles in a funeral procession have the right-of-way in intersections, consisting of at red lights. The driver in a procession still has actually the duty come exercise simple care, and also if they room detached native the procession, the right-of-way is lost. Herman v. Lee, 316 N.W.2d 56 (Neb. 1982).

NEVADA: Nevada is the just state i beg your pardon specifically enables the lead or escort automobile in a funeral procession come go with a red light. The legislation authorizes a car escorting a funeral procession to (1) go v a red irradiate or stop sign after ~ slowing under as necessary, (2) exceed the posted speed limit by up to 15 miles every hour come overtake the procession and direct web traffic at the next intersection, and also (3) overlook regulations on direction of movement or turning when directing the motion of the various other vehicles in the procession. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 484.261. While this privileges are component of the law authorizing special actions by police and also other emergency vehicles, the law does not expressly require a funeral escort vehicle to be together a police or emergency vehicle.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: new Hampshire legislation requires the operator of the lead escort automobile to comply with all stop signs and traffic control signals. Once the lead auto has gone into an intersection lawfully, the various other vehicles might proceed without regard come the web traffic signal. Funeral processions have the right-of-way. All vehicles in the procession must follow one another as carefully as safely feasible and have to be marked with funeral flags or windshield signs, headlights, taillights, and also hazard flashers. The escort car must have a purple flashing or emergency light. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 265:156.

NEW JERSEY: brand-new Jersey regulation states that if any kind of procession takes much longer than 5 minutes to happen a offered point, it should be interrupted every five minutes for waiting traffic. N.J. Stat. § 39:4-93. The pass out of the law was taken by a brand-new Jersey court in 1978, i beg your pardon concluded that it was no intended to offer a funeral procession a preferential right-of-way, nor did it take it precedence over the necessity to avoid for a red light. The case developed when a driver start an intersection under a green light collided with a member of a procession who had entered against a red light. Pohi v. Topal, 383 A.2d 435 (N.J. Super. 1978). Authorized emergency vehicles, U.S. Mail vehicles, and also physicians’ vehicles have actually the right-of-way through a procession.

NEW MEXICO: There are no state laws governing funeral processions.

NEW YORK: There are no state regulations governing funeral processions, however, the state’s Vehicle and also Traffic legislations do not provide any exceptions to following traffic regulate signals, except in the situation of emergency vehicles. If a funeral procession is to be granted capacity to disobey website traffic signals, there many be a web traffic officer current to manage traffic. Vinci v. Charney, 80 N.Y.S.2d 521 (N.Y. 1948).

NORTH CAROLINA: when the lead vehicle has entered an intersection lawfully, the other vehicles might proceed without regard come the web traffic signal. Funeral processions have the right-of-way, however they need to yield come emergency vehicles or once directed through a police officer. The lead auto must be significant with a light, flag or other insignia indicating a funeral procession. Each car in the procession must have actually its headlights lit and also hazard warning lamp on. Other vehicles might not effort to happen or knowingly drive in between vehicles in a funeral procession. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-157.1.

OHIO: This law specifies a funeral procession as two or more vehicles accompanying a dead person in the daytime and also operating through headlights lit and also displaying a purple and white pennant. Pedestrians and other vehicles, except emergency vehicles or vehicles directed by a police officer, must yield right-of-way to the procession. The other vehicles in the procession have the right to follow the lead car that lawfully gone into the intersection regardless of the traffic signal, detailed they practice due care. Ohio code § 4511.451.

OKLAHOMA: There are no state laws governing funeral processions.

OREGON: Oregon legislation requires other vehicles to yield the right-of-way to funeral processions, to stop at intersections to enable the funeral procession to pass, and also obey any type of directions offered by the driver the a funeral escort vehicle. If the funeral escort lead car enters the intersection lawfully, the various other vehicles may follow there is no stopping. Processions have to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles or if directed by a police officer. The escort automobile may exceed the speed limit by 10 miles every hour and cross the facility line of a road. Other vehicles might not drive in between or sign up with a funeral procession. Funeral processions are enabled to happen toll-free with all tollgates. Or. Rev. Stat. § 811.802 – 812.

PENNSYLVANIA: Pennsylvania law allows vehicles in a funeral procession come proceed past a red light or stop sign if the lead auto entered the intersection if the light was eco-friendly or if that made a complete stop at the prevent sign. Each car in the procession must have its headlights lit, emergency flashers on, and a flag or various other insignia indicating that is part of the procession. They have to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles. 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3107.

SOUTH CAROLINA: there is no state law governing funeral processions, however, the supreme Court of south Carolina failed to acknowledge a group of vehicles together a funeral procession when the group had no police escort, there to be no permit issued by the traffic department the the Columbia police department, and also the team was not adhering to a hearse, however rather, driving come the funeral home. Jones v. Grissett, 186 S.E.2d 829 (S.C. 1972). Furthermore, a vehicle in a funeral procession is not exempt from complying with traffic-control signals and also has no right-of-way to proceed through a red light. Nabors v. Spencer, 207 S.E.2d 79 (S.C. 1974).

SOUTH DAKOTA: There are no state laws governing funeral processions.

TEXAS: over there is no state legislation governing funeral processions, however, Texas courts acknowledge the heritage of vehicles avoiding to permit a funeral procession to pass through an intersection. A driver that collides through a auto in a funeral possession may be responsible if the procession to be going through an intersection was noticeable. Southwestern Bell Tel. Co. V. Davis, 528 S.W.2d 191 (Tex. Civ. App. 1979).

UTAH: There space no state laws governing funeral processions.

VERMONT: There room no state regulations governing funeral processions.

VIRGINIA: Virginia law provides a funeral procession a general right-of-way on any kind of street v which it overcome if that is travel under a police or sheriff’s escort. The is not explicit with respect come the concern of web traffic signals or signs. That authorizes localities to provide police escort service and impose reasonable fees come defray costs. No car may join, pass through, or interfere with the funeral procession. Va. Password Ann. § 46.2-828.

WASHINGTON: There space no state regulations governing funeral processions, however, the supreme Court that Washington hosted that a car that is separated indigenous the procession is no longer in the procession, and as such, has no legal rights of the procession, assuming there were rights. Smith v. Ashmore, 413 P.2d 651 (Wash. 1966).

WEST VIRGINIA: West Virginia law requires various other vehicles, except emergency vehicles or as soon as directed otherwise by a police officer, to yield the right-of-way to funeral processions. When the lead auto lawfully enters an intersection, the other vehicles in the procession may follow without regard to any type of traffic manage devices as lengthy as each auto exercises early out care. Each auto must monitor the other as closely as safe possible. Every non-law enforcement escort vehicles must exhibit at least one flashing amber or violet light. W. Va. Code § 17C-32-1 to –5.

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WISCONSIN: Wisconsin law is similar to the Illinois state in its requirements other than that the grants this privileges to military convoys and funeral processions. Wis. Stat. § 346.20.