Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you pull over and stop when a funeral procession goes by?

Asked by Dutchess_III (37482points) January 15th, 2018

99% of people pulled over for our procession this weekend, but there were two who didn’t. They didn’t even slow down. Perhaps they were on some sort of emergency of their own, but I know there are those who just don’t pull over because they don’t want to.
Do you think that’s disrespectful?

I always pull over for processions, out of respect for a life that is now gone, and for those who may be hurting because a loved one died.

What kind of person wouldn’t?

I Googled to see if it was a law that on coming traffic has to stop. It’s not, but I did find this which was kind of interesting.

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56 Answers

ucme's avatar

I myself do not, our chauffeur tried it only once coz I fired him for gross impudence.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In Georgia, it’s the law – you have to pull over.

link See sectiosn 2 d) and 2 e)

(c) Funeral processions escorted by the police, a sheriff, or a sheriff’s deputy shall have the right of way in any street or highway through which they may pass. Local governments may, by ordinance, provide for such escort service and provide for the imposition of reasonable fees to defray the cost of such service.

(d) The operator of a vehicle not in a funeral procession shall not interrupt a funeral procession except when authorized to do so by a traffic officer or when such vehicle is an authorized emergency vehicle or law enforcement vehicle giving an audible and visual signal.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Not everyone is aware of such traditions.

I pull over….

Dutchess_III's avatar

@elbanditoroso

(d) The operator of a vehicle not in a funeral procession shall not interrupt a funeral procession except when authorized to do so by a traffic officer or when such vehicle is an authorized emergency vehicle or law enforcement vehicle giving an audible and visual signal.

(e) Operators of vehicles not a part of a funeral procession shall not join a funeral procession by operating their headlights for the purpose of securing the right of way granted by this Code section to funeral processions.

Neither of those is referring to oncoming traffic. I should have been more specific in my question.

@MrGrimm888 But they can see that everyone around them is stopped! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why.

zenvelo's avatar

Pull over? That’s crazy! Funerals go way slow! Gotta get ahead of them or you’ll be stuck for ever.

I don’t insert myself in a procession, and I let them pass by, but if I am on a road with two lanes in my direction, I will pass the procession.

canidmajor's avatar

I sometimes pull over if it’s feasible (not always the case) and if I can easily tell that it is a funeral procession (not always the case). I do so because the law requires it in a lot of states. I don’t think that driving in certain types of traffic displays respect or disrespect for the deceased. I don’t deliberately interfere with a funeral train, but frankly, it’s just not a big factor of consideration for me.

Which is obviously not the “right” answer to your question.

janbb's avatar

And here’s the laws which vary by state.

canidmajor's avatar

Thanks, @janbb! My state’s not mentioned at all. I guess I don’t have to worry. :-)

ragingloli's avatar

I have a grim reaper costume just for these occasions.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@janbb I found that too. Again, it never discusses how oncoming traffic is supposed to behave…and Kansas isn’t mentioned either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Happy Birthday @janbb!!

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Not everyone is aware of such traditions

This is true.

I was unaware the first time I encountered this. All these vehicles with little flags were blocking my way. I barged in, really annoyed, honking my horn (I honk my horn at people about once every ten years). When I turned off and saw the long procession in my rear view mirror I immediately understood.

Whoops!

Also I think @MrGrimm888 was confused because the funeral had no horn section or second line.

anniereborn's avatar

I pull over yes. Not if I am oncoming traffic tho.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Well there is no law or tradition here.

And the best I can do is not annoy them by making them slower. Someone is dead, I’m sorry, but when I’m on the road I need to get something done and I don’t have much time to pull over and watch them pass, sorry.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

I will, if I can afford to. To be honest, just because other people also do it, not because of I genuinely care about someone I don’t even know. The society has the effect to impose social stigma on individuals who stray from the acceptable custom.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Dutch. You’re giving the average person far too much credit in the intelligence department.

Common sense, isn’t so common….

KNOWITALL's avatar

I do, of course, horrible manners not to do so. But in my area people sometimes don’t move over for ambulances or fire trucks, which is mandatory, go figure.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We’re both in the Midwest too @KNOWITALL. I guess the societal norms regarding respect are different elsewhere. I always pull over too. At my worst, I’ll dodge the procession by turning onto another street and taking an alternate route so I’m not being so blatantly rude and disrespectful.

@MrGrimm888 what do you mean?

MrGrimm888's avatar

^“But they can see that everyone else around them stopped. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.” You’re assuming average people have enough common sense to deduce that.

NomoreY_A's avatar

I think it’s a law in Texas. But I would do it anyway.

zenvelo's avatar

Why pull over? That makes absolutely no sense at all.

If I am driving along at 45 mph and see a funeral procession in my rear view mirror, it isn’t going to catch me. Not even close.

If it is going the other direction, then I am not impeding it. Why Stop?

janbb's avatar

I don’t get it either.

canidmajor's avatar

Yeah, me either ^^^. I don’t understand at all how it’s “disrespectful” or “horrible manners”. Yeah don’t impede, certainly, if you can avoid it, but trying to demand that others acknowledge a stranger’s death ritual seems inappropriate to me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Each to his own. As I said, I’d only been to two funerals in my life before I met Rick. One was when I was really little, and I don’t really remember much about it.
But the second one was as an adult. A coworker’s son, who was only 8, was killed in a tragic semi truck accident. My son was the same age, and it really hit me hard. That’s the one that sticks in my mind. That’s the funeral that set my behavior for all funerals after, whether I’m part of it or not. (And also vowed to be cremated rather than subjecting people to the awfulness of seeing me all dead and shit.)

The second worst one was when Rick’s healthy, in shape, health-conscious nephew, who was only 42 at the time, just dropped dead of a heart attack while he was out on his morning run. He left behind a wife and 3 daughters who were between the ages of 10 and 16.

You just don’t know who the people are burying, or how tragic the loss was for them. I prefer to err on the side of kindness and respect, and so do the vast majority of people around here. Around here it is viewed as horribly disrespectful and rude. Maybe it’s a Bible belt thing. @KNOWITALL do people there feel the same way?

canidmajor's avatar

I cannot imagine that anyone who was close to the deceased is noticing the behavior of drivers, so I sincerely doubt any offense has been taken.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, you bet we notice @canidmajor.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s an Egyptian tradition actually. Yes, it’s a big thing here, but we’re a more traditional part of the country and don’t let go of our traditions as easily as coasters or big city folks. I’ve seen people literally almost lose it on drivers who don’t show respect. Basically everyone goes to the funeral, then we all drive in a procession to the burial site for another service. The tradition is that we all form an unbreakable caravan (even going through stop lights) to stay together, headlights on-flashers on, until the graveyard is reached. Then en masse we say a final goodbye and leave. The bigger the hullabaloo, the better.

http://www.phillyvoice.com/infrequently-asked-questions-how-did-funeral-processions-get-started/

KNOWITALL's avatar

@canidmajor But see, we’d do it for you, so it’s a mutual respect thing.

I’m trying to think of an analogy. It’s like if your father dies and you’re in mourning and doing the funeral procession, it’s like a car full of teenagers driving by waving and screaming, disrespectful. We try to be respectful of people’s grief, treat them a little more tenderly, and there’s a lot of comfort in knowing your loved one is mourned by so many. So you know you aren’t alone in your grief maybe. We care about each other that way.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s a regional thing. And it’s OK if they don’t do it in other parts of the country. I still would, if I was visiting other parts of the country.

NomoreY_A's avatar

As the wise guy said, when in Rome do as the Romans do.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Makes me wonder what I’d do wrong in the big cities, probably go hang out with the heroin dealers, thinking it’s the cities homeless population. When I was in Phoenix, everyone was in the back of pick ups, smoking bongs in the open on the hwys, it was crazy…lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m also wondering what other norms in other parts of the country are completely opposite of ours!

KNOWITALL's avatar

That would be a good question! When I went to Flagstaff I was surprised to note that smoking wasn’t allowed anywhere, even outside a restaurant. Smoke free city. Is that common? I’ve been around, Ft Worth and Dallas are probably the biggest cities I’ve been to here, and I hated it, couldn’t see the sky between those buildings. But the people seemed nice and normal, kind of the southern style I’m used to. I don’t know how Cali or NY would feel to me.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III and @KNOWITALL You two talk about us on the Coast being “disrespectful” or having bad manners, but you still have not answered my questions about when does a procession ever catch up to you from behind?

Where I live, the funerals all drive at about 20 mph in town, 45 on the freeway. They aren’t passing anyone. No one passes them (out of respect) but we don’t pull over!

Dutchess_III's avatar

People in Washington State freak out over smoking! They’ll clock you in a heartbeat if they think you’re a half an inch closer to the door, or whatever, than you’re supposed to be.

It doesn’t catch up @zenvelo. It’s going slower than I am. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a funeral behind me anyway.

And here, we do pull over. If I was on the highway I wouldn’t, but I would slow down.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We did NOT suggest that people on the coast were disrespectful or had bad manners. Here it would be considered disrespectful. But it obviously isn’t considered disrespectful where you come from.
She and I were just discussing how surprised were were to learn that not all parts of the country do it.

janbb's avatar

I believe the etiquette here would be that you would not pull out into the middle of a funeral cortege but wait for them all to pass before entering the road but as @zenvelo says if you’re ahead of the whole procession and going faster than them, one would not pull over and let them pass.

As you say Dutch, different customs in different parts of the country.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@zenvelo No no, I never said ya’ll were disrespectful at all. I guess I don’t understand what you’re asking….when does a procession catch you from behind? They won’t, they go a little slower than normal to keep everyone together. Flying in front of them is what many people do, but Lord forbid you try to stop them or pull out in front of them to ‘join’ the procession….lol

ragingloli's avatar

Let us be honest.
You pull over for police, ambulances, and fire trucks.
To believe your funeral caravan deserves the same treatment, THAT is disrespectful.

janbb's avatar

@KNOWITALL I guess some of us coasters are not clear what this pulling over would consist of then or how it would work. As I said, I don’t think we would jump in the middle of one but if one is oncoming or behind you, what is there to pull over for? You’re not impeding their passage.

It must just be more of a Midwest or Southern custom.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, good grief. No one is being disrespectful or displaying horrible manners if they don’t display extra behaviors while driving near a funeral procession.
There won’t be a funeral procession for me, @KNOWITALL, so you won’t have to worry about it.

Do what you feel is appropriate, as will I. The disrespect here is assuming that everyone should follow your customs.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli Nope, not here but I see how you could think that. It’s the only SOCIAL reason though, yes. Fire and ambulance we are legally obligated to pull over.

@janbb If you see one coming, you goose it and get ahead of it, or you know you’ll have to sit and wait a bit. If you don’t see one coming (lights and flashers, big hearse or limo in front), then you just have to sit and let it pass. They don’t stop for red lights and are not obligated to do so. Does that make sense?

@canidmajor Oh poo, I’m not coming to Cali to spit on your vegetarian food, nor do I expect any of you to come here, let alone get in the middle of a funeral procession. I only joined this thread because @Dutchess_III asked if we did it the same way they did in her state, which is close by.

I’m planning on skipping the whole thing, too, I have zero interest, this was purely an information discussion. Lands sake, ya’ll take offense at the weirdest things.

janbb's avatar

@KNOWITALL It actually sounds like we’re on the same page – you either get in front of it or wait for it to pass before you enter the road. That doesn’t sound the same to me as pulling over.

I’m not upset with you; it’s just that @Dutchess_III sometimes asks questions in a way that assumes that anyone who feels differently is wrong.

No biggie.

NomoreY_A's avatar

@ KNOWITALL Yo I do not take offense at
weird shit how dare you suggest that well I never…cough. Out of breath need to take a break. ; )

Dutchess_III's avatar

@janbb When I asked the question I was under the assumption that everyone pulls over. I assumed that it was viewed as disrespectful every where not to.
And so I learned something new.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@janbb, It’s like this.
and this
Here.

We just pull over and stop.

And no, you wouldn’t want to pass a funeral procession going in the same direction because you’d wind up with a cop, or a cop-like official funeral escort car, all over your butt with lights and sirens, because they race up the left lane to block traffic at lights and intersections. So that lane needs to be clear. That would be illegal.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@janbb Gotcha. I think she meant pulling over, like waiting on them to pass. If you see one coming, you only have the two options-speed up or pull over to wait.

@NomoreY_A I like you more every day…!

Here read this, maybe it is a southern thing….although Dutchess and I are on the borders of being in the true south.
https://www.southernliving.com/culture/southern-funeral-tradition

Dutchess_III's avatar

…Do you mean one coming up behind you @KNOWITALL? I think you have to get off the road rather than pull over and stop, so they don’t have to change lanes to get around you. Plus you gotta leave that right lane clear for the escort cars. But we’re always going faster than the procession, anyway.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes. I don’t pass too many anymore, especially here in the city. The last one I was in was my cousin, the matriarch of her family and it was a long procession, probably 150–200 cars. I don’t remember passing anyone as most of us use one of two funeral homes, both on the edges of the city, so it probably doesn’t affect as many people as it sounds like. We only have the hearse and then the procession, no escort cars.

Not sure if you saw the motorcycle hearse? I saw one pass on I-44 once.

https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150918/mt-greenwood/this-motorcycle-drawn-hearse-is-better-way-bury-bikers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, that’s finer n a frog’s hair @KNOWITALL!

NomoreY_A's avatar

@KNOWITALL Good article thanks for posting. Lot of that rings a bell though I’m not big on good ‘ol boy southern culture. I look like one and dress like one and been told I have a “Davy Crockett” accent. So it’s funny sometimes to see how people react when I talk politics or.religious views. It’s like shock, then “But you don’t look like a liberal!” My pat reply is, well what’s a liberal look like?

KNOWITALL's avatar

haha, I bet! And you probably have that Texas twang in your accent, too!

zenvelo's avatar

Ok, @Dutchess_III I get it from your pictures: people headed in the other direction are pulled over while the funeral procession gores on its way.

In California, you would get a ticket for pulling over for that for impeding traffic.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I guess, “When in Rome…”

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