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What you should do when a funeral procession is near you

Is pulling over for a funeral procession a courtesy or law? We can clarify that for you.

Knowing whether to pull over, stop, or keep driving when you come across a funeral procession can be tricky.

Starr Hutchings Purdue of Hutchings Funeral Home said, "The best thing to do is to pull to the side of the road and let the procession pass. That's the accepted practice."

Georgia's driving laws state that funeral processions have the right of way at intersections unless approached by an emergency vehicle or signaled by a law enforcement officer to let other drivers through.

It is illegal to cut into a procession line or pass one on a two-lane highway. If a car violates the law, they could face a misdemeanor charge or a fine of up to $100. Many processions have a police escort, but if they don't, it can be difficult figuring out where it begins and ends.

"The first car is usually going to have a light on top of it and a sign that says 'funeral' and that will signify that there's a procession coming through. The last car will usually have flashing lights or headlights on," Purdue said.

Traditionally, traffic on both sides of the road usually pull over to show respect, but for oncoming traffic, the rule is a bit different.

The Bibb County Sheriff's Office confirmed that it is not against the law for cars in the opposite direction of a funeral procession to keep on driving, and that stopping may actually cause an accident.

Whichever you decide to do, always be aware of your surroundings and drive safely.

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