Rules of the road for funeral processions

According to state law, funeral processions have the right away at intersections and traffic lights

FILE - In this July 25, 2016 file photo, the funeral procession for slain Baton Rouge police Corporal Montrell Jackson leaves the Living Faith Christian Center in Baton Rouge, La. Jackson, slain by a gunman who authorities said targeted law enforcement. The number of police killed in the line of duty rose sharply in 2016, driven by shootings of police around the country, most notably ambushes in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From Jan. 1 through Wednesday, 135 officers lost their lives. Some died in traffic accidents, but nearly half were shot to death. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)- If you’re a driver, you’ve probably run into one before, a funeral procession.

According to state law, they have the right of way at intersections and traffic lights, with the exception of emergency vehicles. But that doesn’t always happen.

“A couple people just came in cut in no means of asking or even looking seeing the flag, they were pretty bright as day, said Daniel Mundo of Chicopee.

The hearse is the lead vehicle in a funeral procession. It carries the the body or cremated remains of the deceased person. You may not cross an intersection while a funeral procession is going through, even if you have a green light, and they have a red.

22News spoke with the director of the Pierre-Phaneuf Funeral Home on Thursday. He said whether you’re driving in a funeral procession or near one, you need to be patient and take it slow.

“You’ve got a lot of city traffic, a lot of intersections a lot of traffic lights, people have to be cognizant of the fact that there is an intersection, and they’re coming through,” said Paul Phaneuf, Director of St. Pierre-Phaneuf Funeral Home.

If you’re driving in a funeral procession, keep your headlights and hazard lights, don’t go faster than 55 mph on the highway, give a safe distance away from the car in front of you, and avoid distractions. Phaneuf said the biggest reason for accidents with funeral processions is distracted driving.

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