CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Another viewer question has been submitted to the Road Warrior. Can you legally pass a funeral procession?
The answer is simple... Yes.
“The law in Ohio says that you cannot interrupt a funeral procession,” said Lieutenant Rob Gable of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
It’s all outlined in Ohio Revised Code 4511.451. You can pass a procession, but what you can't do is interrupt, drive or walk through one. That even applies at intersections where you have a green light and the procession has a red one.
“Even if the light turns red for the procession, they're allowed to travel through that red light cautiously,” Gable said. “Sometimes when the light turns green for opposing traffic, they decide that they're going to work their way through the procession, which causes the procession to stop and creates a dangerous situation for everyone.”
Lieutenant Gable says some drivers legally pass a funeral procession on the left, then realize they need to make a right turn. They then illegally work their way into the procession to make their turn.
“Typically, a procession is really not that long. The time that it takes just to wait and allow those who are grieving the loss of someone to make it together to the cemetery is really what everyone would like to see happen. We all understand that people have places to be. Just allow that procession to go through. That’s the right thing to do and it’s the legal thing to do.”
If you break the law, it will cost you. You’ll face a minor misdemeanor with a fine up to $150.
There’s also a rule for those driving in a procession. The law states that you most have your headlights on and display a purple / white or an orange / white flag to be considered part of the procession. It’s a “both and,” not an “either or.” If someone hits you while you're passing through an intersection and you don't have that flag displayed and your headlights on, you could be found in the wrong.
If you have a question for the Road Warrior, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.