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  1. #1
    TheTravellers is offline Gold Member
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    Default Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Was driving on Hefner eastbound north of the lake a couple of days ago, and a funeral procession was going westbound, led by 2 motorcycle cops with their lights on. Everybody on our side of the road pulled over, so I did too. Having investigated a bit, I don't think that's a law. Yes, it respects the dead, I guess, but from what I can see, it's not an OKC law nor an OK statute that requires that traffic on the other side of a road pull over for a funeral. Anybody know any different?

  2. #2
    OKCTalker is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    I'd add safety for the motorcycle officers - I know a few and they tell me that they're pushing 100 mph as they go from back of the procession to the front in order to stop traffic at intersections.

  3. #3
    skyrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by OKCTalker View Post
    I'd add safety for the motorcycle officers - I know a few and they tell me that they're pushing 100 mph as they go from back of the procession to the front in order to stop traffic at intersections.
    Wow! In Texas the law enforcement agencies try to limit officers' speed during pursuit, preferring to use aerial observance and blockage of prospective escape avenues. Your guys do 100 in a funeral?!

  4. #4
    TheTravellers is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by OKCTalker View Post
    I'd add safety for the motorcycle officers - I know a few and they tell me that they're pushing 100 mph as they go from back of the procession to the front in order to stop traffic at intersections.
    Yeah, OK, maybe, but this was on a 4-lane road, 2 cops and they were at the front, didn't appear to be doing that particular routine, just leading the procession, and they had just gone past an intersection and I didn't see them stopping traffic (light was with them, though, instead of against them, so no need to stop perpendicular traffic). Maybe one of them was stopping traffic at intersections elsewhere along the procession, but it was just moving along normally when I saw it.

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    rcjunkie is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    No state law, just manners and respect !

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    Was driving on Hefner eastbound north of the lake a couple of days ago, and a funeral procession was going westbound, led by 2 motorcycle cops with their lights on. Everybody on our side of the road pulled over, so I did too. Having investigated a bit, I don't think that's a law. Yes, it respects the dead, I guess, but from what I can see, it's not an OKC law nor an OK statute that requires that traffic on the other side of a road pull over for a funeral. Anybody know any different?
    Wow.. I was there also. I slowed down at first and just started poking along until I saw everyone else had stopped and pulled to the side. I had never been in that situation before. Now we know! Lol.

  7. #7
    Easy180 is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcjunkie View Post
    No state law, just manners and respect !
    This is my understanding as well

  8. #8
    kevinpate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    No specific funeral procession law in Oklahoma, but one is required to yield to ongoing lights a going emergency/leo vehicles, including cycle officers.
    While it seems likely there is something in writing for each entity, I don't know which, if any, area cities have specific ordinances on requesting/paying for law enforcement escorts for a procession.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    I think the funeral home pays the officers for those services just like banks, malls, hospitals and other places. It is likely included in the price of the services. I know the average OCPD officer makes at least $25 an hour on any given post.

    As far as the law is concerned, I think it is just a common courtesy. The only time I have ever heard of someone getting a ticket is when they joined in the procession. This happened to a buddy of mine. It should be noted he has a mouth on him that tends get him in hot water so I am sure the ticket had more to do with his attitude then actual offense itself.

  10. #10
    rcjunkie is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    When my mother passed in 07, we had her funeral in Moore Ok, the cost for police escort was itemized on the invoice. It was $175.00 for two motorcycle escorts. (church was about 7 miles from final resting place)

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    BBatesokc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    I did find this Oklahoma municipal code regarding funeral processions (not about pulling over, but pulling through would be a no-no):

    "No driver of a vehicle shall drive between the vehicles comprising a funeral or other authorized procession while they are in motion and when such vehicles are conspicuously designated as required in this article. This provision shall not apply at intersections where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals or Police Officers."

  12. #12
    cafeboeuf is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    I did find this Oklahoma municipal code regarding funeral processions (not about pulling over, but pulling through would be a no-no):

    "No driver of a vehicle shall drive between the vehicles comprising a funeral or other authorized procession while they are in motion and when such vehicles are conspicuously designated as required in this article. This provision shall not apply at intersections where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals or Police Officers."
    Very interesting. What does the code say about the "conspicuously designated" requirement? In Michigan, every car in the procession must drive with headlights on and must also carry a small orange flag with a black cross (or other religiously appropriate symbol, I suppose). In Oklahoma, I always have a hard time telling who exactly is in the procession...

  13. #13
    Kerry is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    This is the only thing the Oklahoma drivers manual says about funerals.

    http://www.dps.state.ok.us/dls/pub/ODM.pdf

    If you are traveling in a caravan or motorcade (such as a funeral procession)
    outside of a business or residential area, leave at least 200 feet between each
    vehicle so other cars or trucks can enter the line safely.

  14. #14
    BBatesokc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by cafeboeuf View Post
    Very interesting. What does the code say about the "conspicuously designated" requirement? In Michigan, every car in the procession must drive with headlights on and must also carry a small orange flag with a black cross (or other religiously appropriate symbol, I suppose). In Oklahoma, I always have a hard time telling who exactly is in the procession...
    "
    Each driver in a funeral or other procession shall drive as near to the righthand edge of the roadway as practical and shall follow the vehicle ahead as close as is practical and safe.
    (b)
    A funeral composed of a procession of vehicles shall be identified as such by the display upon the outside of each vehicle such of identifying insignia as may be determined and designated by the Police Department."

  15. #15
    Kerry is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    "
    Each driver in a funeral or other procession shall drive as near to the righthand edge of the roadway as practical and shall follow the vehicle ahead as close as is practical and safe.
    (b)
    A funeral composed of a procession of vehicles shall be identified as such by the display upon the outside of each vehicle such of identifying insignia as may be determined and designated by the Police Department."
    I guess that prevents an enterprising individual from pulling in behind the procession, turning on his lights, and then making every traffic light.

  16. #16
    BBatesokc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    I guess that prevents an enterprising individual from pulling in behind the procession, turning on his lights, and then making every traffic light.
    I've personally never seen the cars in a procession marked in any way.

  17. #17
    kevinpate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    I guess that prevents an enterprising individual from pulling in behind the procession, turning on his lights, and then making every traffic light.
    Not necessarily. Often, 'lights on' is the only designation.

    I've driven myself and others in more processions than I care to reflect upon, and regret that I see several more on a too near horizon.
    In processions to date, I've never had a flag, streamer, etc., when driving a personal vehicle, just 'lights on'.
    I've had folks end up in front of or behind me more often than not who weren't there to begin with.

    Only exception that comes to mind to folks adding on is when I've been in a family car. I suppose line cutters can't work their way up that far when starting from the back, and even total jerks appear to draw the line at sliding between the hearse and the family cars.

  18. #18
    Of Sound Mind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    "
    Each driver in a funeral or other procession shall drive as near to the righthand edge of the roadway as practical and shall follow the vehicle ahead as close as is practical and safe.
    (b)
    A funeral composed of a procession of vehicles shall be identified as such by the display upon the outside of each vehicle such of identifying insignia as may be determined and designated by the Police Department."
    Interestingly enough, having just gone through a funeral of a family member, there was no "identifying insignia" on anyone's vehicle in the procession.

    Also, regarding the comments about pulling over out of respect, it can be very moving for family members and friends driving in the procession to see people along the way pulling over. It actually can bring comfort in such a difficult time.

  19. #19
    kevinpate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Of Sound Mind View Post
    ... regarding the comments about pulling over out of respect, it can be very moving for family members and friends driving in the procession to see people along the way pulling over. It actually can bring comfort in such a difficult time.
    It does indeed.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    RESPECT... Plain and simple. If I were part of that procession, especially immediate family and cars were just passing as if nothing was happening, I would be furious (of course, I wouldn't be able to do anything, just saying). You can pause for a brief moment for the grief of others. It's a human rite.

  21. #21
    TheTravellers is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinpate View Post
    No specific funeral procession law in Oklahoma, but one is required to yield to ongoing lights a going emergency/leo vehicles, including cycle officers.
    While it seems likely there is something in writing for each entity, I don't know which, if any, area cities have specific ordinances on requesting/paying for law enforcement escorts for a procession.
    Actually, OKC municipal code (32-221) says this

    (a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle responding to emergency calls, the driver of every vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the righthand edge or curb of the roadway, clear of any intersection, and shall stop and remain in the position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a Police Officer.

    (b) The authorized emergency vehicle while responding to emergency calls shall be equipped with and have in operation at least one lighted lamp exhibiting red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the front of the vehicle and the driver shall give an audible signal by siren or bell.

    Emphasis mine, and I'm pretty sure funerals don't really qualify as emergency calls. State law doesn't make that distinction, I don't think, it appears to just say pull over for flashing lights (as long as those lights conform to certain specs).

    So it doesn't appear that it's a law, from what I can see.

    In Illinois, funeral procession members had a sticker or placard in their windshield or a flag on their antenna (or a magnetic flag stuck to their car) as well as their headlights on.

  22. #22
    Of Sound Mind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Out of curiosity, why is this bothering you so much?

  23. #23
    TheTravellers is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Of Sound Mind View Post
    Out of curiosity, why is this bothering you so much?
    Doesn't really *bother* me, but I posted the initial question for the same reason you posted - curiousity. I like to know what laws might exist that I don't know about that I might possibly be breaking and get ticketed for. Like the law about not changing lanes in a school zone - didn't know that existed, have never heard about it anywhere in the US (but didn't really go looking for it in the laws where I lived either), but now know it exists here in OKC and I've been doing it ever since I've been driving, and since I could get ticketed for it, I might be more averse to doing it in the future.

    I never really posted why I was asking, duh, so here's the real reason - I don't believe I've ever seen anybody stop for a funeral procession going opposite their direction of travel in my 30 years of driving in cities all over the country. Everybody just kept right on going, pretty much ignoring the procession. So this took me by complete surprise and I was wondering if it was a law here since it didn't appear to be one anywhere else, or if it was just a custom.

    And ljbab, don't even get started on breaking speed limit laws.
    Last edited by TheTravellers; 01-21-2011 at 06:01 PM. Reason: To clarify why I posted

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    There are so many obscure laws you are probably breaking all the time. Ilene I'm not talking about those often non-existent goofy laws that make it into Internet emails and urban legend.

  25. #25
    Larry OKC is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Funeral procession rules/laws?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    ...I don't believe I've ever seen anybody stop for a funeral procession going opposite their direction of travel in my 30 years of driving in cities all over the country. Everybody just kept right on going, pretty much ignoring the procession. ...
    isn't that when you would pull over and stop? Thats when I notice it and pull over and see others doing the same. From Oklahoma to Iowa to Florida and states in between (have lived in all). Rarely have I seen someone pulled over in the same direction of traffic as the procession. Also, I think it depends on if it is a divided highway or not. Rare to see anyone stop on Hefner Parkway, but down a regular street, sure. Similar to stopping for school buses. if it is a divided roadway (such as Grand Boulevard), no need for traffic in the opposite lane to stop but undivided, absolutely.

    But good to know what the local rules are. Know when ever I drive in an unfamiliar state, ask about right turn on red.

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