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What to remember when you see a funeral procession

4:55 PM, Jul 5, 2013   |    comments
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"I think Tennessee's laws involving funeral processions could be strengthened a little bit," said Berry Funeral Home President Fred Berry.

A recommendation by Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper would require certain colored lights in funeral processions. That's a small change, but a change that toughened the rules here, Berry added.

"We do see so many accidents related to funeral processions, so I definitely think there could be more awareness," he added.

The number one rule to remember, according to state code, is you can't break up or pass a procession if it's on the same side of the road. If it's a two-lane road, you are to wait behind the service. If it's a four-lane, you can pass since the processions cannot drive beyond 45 mph.

Also, it is illegal to cut a funeral procession, even in the middle of an intersection.

"Part of our responsibility as funeral director is to protect the public's health, and that applies to funeral processions," Berry said.

If you are on the other side of the road, there is no written rule as to whether you should or should not stop. Berry said it is out of respect as to why so many do this, but errs on the side of caution.

"If you are stopping for a funeral procession, and you're on the opposite side of the road, please pull all the way off the side of the shoulder so you don't stop in the middle of the road," Berry warns.

Berry adds that the state code is loose enough to where towns can override their rules on funeral processions.  According to KPD, Knoxville's rules currently mirror the Tennessee rules.


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