Traffic Watch: Funeral Processions

by Alex Carias

When it comes to funeral processions, the law varies from city to city. In Lufkin, if you are driving as part of a funeral procession, you must have your headlights on for several reasons.

"It keeps down the accidents. They all stay in one group. They try not to get strung out. But also, the other vehicles, the motoring public, can identify them as a part of that procession," said Sgt. David Walker of the Lufkin Police Department.

Funeral processions are usually escorted by a police officer, a Sheriff's Deputy, or a County Constable. When a procession is being escorted, that official has authority to control traffic.

"If they are authorized to direct traffic and hold up that traffic as a peace officer, then you are required to stay and yield right of way until the way is cleared of the funeral procession," said Sgt. Walker.

In Texas, there is no law stating that you must pull over for a funeral procession, but many drivers do so out of respect for the deceased.

"That's common courtesy we're talking about, and it's usually widespread. If you see one coming up behind you, a lot of people, and I've seen them on numerous occasions on the loop, even the other side of the loop, pull over and stop. It's basically a common courtesy," Walker added.