Social Question

kelly's avatar

In your area, is it custom to pull your car to the side of the road, as you would for an emergency vehicle, for a funeral procession?

Asked by kelly (1908points) February 7th, 2010

I live in Northern Illinois, a somewhat rural area, and it is not the custom here. My uncle passed in Clovis, NM and every single car from the opposite direction and in the direction of the auto procession, pull to the curb as we passed. It was really touching and symbolic. He was a veteran of WWII and the Hearse had a somewhat large American flag on the hood (used for veteran funerals) Perhaps it was for the veteran, or a Western custom. Comments.

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17 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’ve only seen this in semi-rural Michigan, too, and it had nothing to do with veteran status. It’s not typical here in the parts of New England that I’m familiar with.

AstroChuck's avatar

Not unless an ambulance is a part of the procession.

Mamradpivo's avatar

No, I’ve never seen this. It actually doesn’t make much sense to me: there’s no real rush to get anywhere.

asawilliams's avatar

In most places I have lived its the law to pull over in both situations. (MA, IL, MO, WA, CA)

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I’m in NYC, you’d be lucky to get someone to pull over for a firetruck… but it seemed to be a defacto law when I lived in the Midwest.

gailcalled's avatar

Always, out of courtesy. NY, PA and MA. You don’t want your car to intrude into the cort├Ęge. Many drivers don’t know where the cemetery is and need to follow the leader.

Harp's avatar

Here in Chicago, absolutely not. But when riding with the procession at my father’s funeral in rural Arkansas, I was astonished to see cars on the opposite side of a divided highway pull over and stop. I remarked my surprise to the driver, and he assured me that this was always the case in those parts. I too was very touched,

ragingloli's avatar

No. But then again, I am not aware that there ever was such a procession. Most people here do not want to announce death to all the world.

casheroo's avatar

The only thing that happens in my area, is that a funeral procession can continue for a red light, and you have to wait until they all get through. (only if they were already going through it when the light changed). I’ve never seen everyone stop, but usually you don’t know of the funeral unless they pass by you.

john65pennington's avatar

Always in Tennessee. this is done out of respect for the deceased persons family. and, most people realize that its a law violation to cut in through a funeral procession, so they just pull over to the right curb and yield.

knitfroggy's avatar

In Central Kansas we always pull over for a funeral procession. During my grandmother’s funeral procession there was a road crew working and as we went by they stopped working, took off their hats, put them over their hearts and looked down to show their respect. That really touched me.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Yes, it’s done here all the time, & it was in our area in Texas where we lived, too. It’s done out of respect. It’s common courtesy. When my aunt died several years ago here, the funeral procession had several miles to go to the cemetery. We passed a farmer in a field who was standing where we could see him…outside his tractor with his hat over his heart. I’ll NEVER forget that. What a wonderful gesture.

Macaulay's avatar

Yes, we do that in the south.

wilma's avatar

Yes, I live in rural Michigan. That is what we do here as well.

wtfrickinfrack's avatar

@Macaulay yup… I’ve lived in 4 different places down south and they always do it down there. I think it’s great… totally respectful and classy

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