Wait patiently when you see a slow-moving funeral procession

This is a column on etiquette and consideration for others that has little to do with safety and everything to do with respect. I was asked to write on the subject of funeral processions by the friend of a family whose members were upset at the lack of thought shown by other drivers entering and leaving the procession to the cemetery.

This is a column on etiquette and consideration for others that has little to do with safety and everything to do with respect.

I was asked to write on the subject of funeral processions by the friend of a family whose members were upset at the lack of thought shown by other drivers entering and leaving the procession to the cemetery.

The Motor Vehicle Act grants the power to a municipality to regulate and control processions on highways within the municipality. A check with the municipalities near where I live revealed no rules in their current traffic bylaws regarding a funeral procession.

Further, the Motor Vehicle Act exempts the driver of a motor vehicle in a funeral procession from the requirement to leave sufficient space between his or her vehicle and another vehicle to enable a vehicle to enter and occupy that space without danger.

In the past, the line of slow moving traffic with headlights on was readily identifiable, even if you didn’t see the hearse or family limousine. Today, daytime running lights make it more difficult to recognize a funeral procession.

A driver may have to watch and consider a bit more than usual, then politely wait a few moments while the procession passes by. It’s a small price to pay for the same consideration if you ever find yourself in the family limousine one day.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca.

Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.

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