Wednesday, September 30, 2009

what's the right thing?

The other morning I was getting ready to turn right at a stoplight when a funeral procession crossed in front of me. When my light turned green, the people in the procession stopped, and I was pretty sure they were supposed to keep going, even through a red light. My problem was, the procession was going down a four lane road, completely taking up one lane, but leaving the other empty.

I turned.

But it felt really weird driving next to the people with their flashing lights the policeman up front. Oncoming traffic was stopping, even though their was a middle lane. The police car did stop at several red lights, and it seemed to be following me for miles. I almost wanted to roll my window down when I was stopped next to the cop to ask what I was supposed to do. I do not remember from driver's ed what the rules are, and I don't come across them very often.

I think I should have let the whole procession go and stayed at the light, from what I can gather from the internet. Each state has different laws and talks about what people IN the procession should do: proceed through lights until the police car stops. Nothing told me what I should have done.

One person said that it is the last way we can pay respect to the dead and their families, and I get that. I do. And in the moment I was thinking about getting to where I was going. It did feel weird to pass the hearse, but there was a car behind me that was going really fast and I didn't want to stop in front of them. I feel bad about it, but wondered if anyone really knew the rules, or if there were laws governing it.


Craft Tea Lady said...

I do believe that the procession should have kept going... but at the same time, there should have been a police escort to stop the traffic (generally a motorcycle riding officer) who would stop, stand, and direct by hand. Strange that they didn't have one. You are right in your thinking.

Love your blog.
CraftTeaLady AT yahoo DOT com

Frizzy said...

I don't know what I would have done but agree with the previous commenter. I think that's what I've experienced in the past. The police usually stop traffic til the funeral procession is all through.

Alison said...

Hmm, I'm not sure what the actual rules are. I think I've only been near a funeral procession while going the opposite direction. I'm surprised that there wasn't a uniformed cop directing traffic.

It's amazing how many driving rules I've forgotten over the years, not that they even covered funeral processions in drivers ed. It seems like I drive on auto pilot these days. Kinda scary.