General Question

rockfan's avatar

Is it normal to stop in the middle of traffic for a funeral procession?

Asked by rockfan (13206points) 2 months ago
20 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

So I was driving on a busy road, and in the complete other direction, (a median dividing the streets) a funeral procession was passing by, and I wasn’t in their way whatsoever. The guy in front of me just stopped in the middle of the road, as I was going 55. I had to slam on my brakes.

I don’t get why people’s superstitions of respecting the dead by stopping their car should have to put people’s lives at risk. In any other instance, it would be considered reckless driving. What are your thoughts? And do you think I’m being insensitive?

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SnipSnip's avatar

No, one should pull to the shoulder to stop. It’s not superstition. It’s respect. If you don’t know the difference, I have no intention of helping you with that.

Forever_Free's avatar

pulling over on a non divided road is ok and respectful. Even pulling over on a divided road is ok if done safely and getting off the road.
Stopping in the middle of the road on a divided road is a violation and downright deadly. You also don’t have to pull over for an emergency vehicle on a divided road. I am glad you are safe.

rockfan's avatar

Also forgot to mention, other cars stopped in the middle of the road too. Felt like I was in the twilight zone.

rockfan's avatar


I think the act of driving together with 40–50 other cars, along with normal traffic, is complete superstition. I’m going to put in my will that I want all my friends and family to just meet at the funeral. A funeral procession is just silly. But obviously, it’s just my opinion. To each their own.

ragingloli's avatar

Pretty sure that is illegal, and in direct violation of § 315c StGB.
You are not even allowed to stop, or swerve to avoid an animal on the road. You are supposed to run it over.

Forever_Free's avatar

The truth is that motorists who are not in the actual procession only have to yield the right of way to funeral processions passing through intersections. Approaching traffic does not stop or pull over. Traffic moving the same direction as the procession may even pass on the left on a multi-lane highway if it can be done safely!
It is vital for all motorists to be following the same rules. Otherwise, crashes will result. And in the case of funeral processions, crashes have been happening since cars were invented. This is what happens when “custom” and the “what I was taught” collides with the actual “rules of the road”. If some drivers pull over/stop for a procession to “show respect”, while others do not, you get collisions. The traffic laws exist to prevent crashes.

janbb's avatar

@rockfan I’m not quite sure you understand what a funeral procession is. It is not people going to the funeral as your remark indicated. It is after the funeral service when people go to the burial site. Often they are in the procession because they don’t know where they are going.

That being said, stopping dead in the middle of the road on the opposite side makes no sense at all and is dangerous.

rockfan's avatar

Thanks for clarifying that. I actually forgot that’s where the funeral procession is going. But still, I think funeral processions are still a problem. Interrupting traffic is not a good idea in my opinion. You can easily let people know where to go beforehand. But I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m super offended or anything by funeral processions. I’m glad that what I experienced today with the driver in front me wasn’t normal.

kritiper's avatar

Pull to the side of the road until ALL funeral vehicles pass. It isn’t just for respect to the dead and the family/friends of the dead, but it is also for the safety of the escort riders/vehicles.

A friend of my sister, who worked part time as a funeral motorcycle escort, was killed by some idiot who got into the procession and then turned abruptly out of it right in front of him.

KNOWITALL's avatar

We pull over here, and some do stop in the road if they didn’t see it coming. Funeral processions and emergency vehicles both always get right of way here.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not sure if I completely understand the scenario.

On a divided street if I was going the opposite direction of the funeral procession I wouldn’t stop unless the procession is going to be turning in front of me. Then I would stop and yield the right of way to the entire procession even though typically I would have the right of way since I am driving straight and the procession cars are crossing traffic.

If I am traveling the same direction as the procession on a road with multiple lanes, I would pass the procession, but not cut into the line. I would not pass at a high speed. Once in a while it’s unavoidable to not cut into the line, but it is to be avoided if at all possible. The rare instance might be needing to exit an interstate and the procession is extremely long.

Processions usually travel at a slow speed and have law enforcement or some sort of escort to help with crossing traffic or keeping the procession together. The slow speed is a signal to other drivers something unusual is going on and if a car does inadvertently break the line while changing lanes, the cars behind can easily catch up.

I would pull over to the right if a cop or hired escort at the front of a procession was behind me and had his lights on, just like allowing any law enforcement or emergency vehicle to pass me.

JLoon's avatar


You need to make sure it’s not your own.

Six's avatar

The guy meant well. Forget it.

KRD's avatar

The right thing to do is pull over. It’s not to be out of their way it is respect for whoever died.

jca2's avatar

If someone stops suddenly in the middle of the road with for no valid reason and/or no warning, they’re asking to get rear-ended.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was a stupid, mindless move. It’s stupidity like that that cause car wrecks.
Around here It’s considered rude not to pull over and stop.
However, if see a procession coming I’ve been known to duck down a side road to sneak around it.
As more and more people are opting for cremation, funeral processions will become a thing of the past.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve been in my fair share of funeral processions. I appreciate those who stop.

JLeslie's avatar

@KRD like most traditions and traffic rules it’s primarily for practical reasons.

It’s for the people attending the funeral so they don’t get separated from the line. Often times they don’t know the directions well (especially before the time of gps). It’s a way to let the mourners have less stress while making the drive and to show them respect for their loss.

ragingloli's avatar

Funeral processions should be illegal.

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