News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.
One News 6 viewer asked: “What should I do when encountering a funeral procession?”
Here’s what Trooper Steve had to say:
Driving anywhere can be pretty tricky but when you encounter a funeral procession you also need to understand that there are some emotions involved in this.
I preach driving with respect all the time but more so especially around something like this, you would want the same.
During a funeral procession whether the procession has a law enforcement escort or not by Florida law you are required to yield the right of way to not only the beginning of the procession but the entire procession.
When the funeral lead vehicle lawfully enters an intersection, either by the traffic signal or at the direction of a police officer, the remaining vehicles in the funeral procession may follow through the intersection regardless of any traffic control devices or right of way prescribed by state or even local laws.
For example if you find yourself being approached from behind by a funeral procession you would be required to clear the roadway to allow them to continue. If you were traveling in an opposite direction and there was a large positive median barrier you would be allowed to continue but with obvious do care.
The same would apply if you were waiting at a red light at an intersection and then it changed green while the procession was still in the intersection, you would be required to wait till the remaining cars have finished.
The only time a funeral procession can enter on a red light is if the cars were being escorted by actual law enforcement officer. A security company is NOT law enforcement and cannot enter on a red light.
They would fall under the same wording as the hearse or lead car and have to enter on a green light but would be authorized to hold the intersection, the same as employees for the funeral home would be allowed to do.
Remember, every car following in this procession is included under the law that you would be required to yield to. This means there would be no cutting in between other vehicles or trying to go through a traffic light that has already been controlled by the funeral.
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