Fact Finders: Do you pull over and stop when a funeral procession approaches?

The state’s rules are straightforward.
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 9:31 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - When we see a funeral procession, many want to show respect on the road. So, our viewer wants to know, “On a two-lane road, when a funeral procession is coming toward you, do you have to pull over and stop?

Funeral processions like this one for a fallen firefighter from Ebenezer (see video) are large and draw much attention. So, they’re hard to miss.

But, smaller funeral processions happen daily around the state of Missouri. The state’s rules are straightforward. Don’t pass a funeral procession unless a passing lane has been specifically provided. Don’t jump in between cars in a procession. If an organized procession is going through a red light, wait. Don’t enter the intersection.

As for pulling over when a procession is approaching you, that’s a custom. It’s not the law.

“It goes back to a social contract that I think we need to all remember, and that is to be respectful,” explained Sergeant Michael McClure of The Missouri State Highway Patrol. “But we also, at the same time, don’t want to be respectful and cause traffic congestion or the potential for crashes. When we’re talking about rural routes that are two-lane, when there are no shoulders, it’s simply just best to slow down and drive on.”

Sargeant McClure and Jason Diemer with Greenlawn Funeral Home asked me to remind drivers to turn their emergency flashers on during the funeral procession. It’s also part of Missouri law.

Returning to the viewer’s question, “On a two-lane road, when a funeral procession is coming toward you, do you have to pull over and stop?”

No. You don’t have to stop by law. If it’s safe to do so and you won’t cause a crash or congestion, you can pull off on the shoulder as a sign of respect. If you don’t have a shoulder, the advice is to slow down and drive on.

If you have something you want us to investigate, email us at factfinders@ky3.com

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