TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — We all know we have to yield to emergency services vehicles like police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances.
But are funeral processions included in that mix?
Do funeral processions have a right-of-way?
Yes, but under certain circumstances.
According to Florida law, funeral processions have the right-of-way at intersections regardless of traffic control devices, giving an audible or visible sign.
However, drivers in a funeral procession must yield to emergency vehicles and to police officers if directed to do so.
When the lead vehicle enters an intersection, all vehicles in the funeral procession may follow through, regardless of traffic control devices or lawful right-of-way provisions.
What to do if you encounter a funeral procession
- Yield to the procession. Similar to emergency vehicles, all other cars should yield to all vehicles in a procession, even if a traffic signal is green, a funeral service company says.
- Don’t cut in or join the procession. The processional is ceremonial for those who just lost a loved one.
- Watch for the last vehicle in the procession. That vehicle will be marked with two flags and will have its hazard lights flashing.
Do funeral processions have to alert citizens?
Florida law states that funeral escort vehicles may be equipped with at least one flashing amber or purple light, visible for over 500 feet, signaling to other cars the presence of a funeral procession.
A law enforcement funeral escort may be equipped with a red, blue, or amber flashing light.
You have to drive in a funeral procession, what do you do?
All vehicles must follow the lead car as closely, practically, and safely as possible. However, the law does state that drivers must allow sufficient space between cars for another car to enter safely without danger.
Every car in a procession is required to have their headlights and tail lights on, at either high or low beam, and use their hazard lights.
Vehicles should also keep their place in line and drive slowly.
Liability and Violations
The Florida law states that the funeral director or the establishment, employees, or agents, are not liable for any death, personal injury, or property damage to those in the funeral procession.
The only exceptions are if death, injury, or damage is caused by negligence or an intentional act.
Violations for funeral processions are noncriminal traffic infractions.
For more informaiton, visit Flsenate.gov.