ASK A COP — What is the law for stopping for a funeral procession?
Published 12:03 am Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Jackson from Nederland asks – I’m confused about driving past a funeral procession. To be honest, I really don’t know the correct answer, so I decided to Ask a Cop. I’m 59 years old and have always been under the impression all motorists are to pull over to the side to allow the procession to safely pass. Not only that, it was just respect for the departed and their family and friends, but recently I pulled over as a procession was approaching going the opposite way and was almost run over by other motorists not wanting to stop. My granddaughter was questioning me about pulling over, and I told her “you’re supposed to.” What is the law about stopping for a funeral procession in Texas?
Answer: Don’t feel like you’re on an island because many motorists don’t know the correct answer about what can be done if you encounter a funeral procession on the roadway! Well Jackson, the R-E-S-P-E-C-T factor amongst motorists is gone today on the roadway, and funeral processions are included. Unfortunately, there’s NO LAW in Texas governing the passing or encountering a funeral procession on the roadway. If a funeral procession is without police escort, they are at the mercy of the motorists. But if the procession is led by a police officer with emergency equipment activated (lights and siren,) you are commanded by state law to pull over to the far right lane and stop your vehicle if the procession is going the same direction as you are traveling — that’s the only reason why you must pull over in a funeral procession. If you’re traveling the opposite direction of the procession, you are not commanded to stop, nor pull over. That’s where the R-E-S-P-E-C-T part of encountering a funeral procession comes into play. Now if a police officer orders you over to stop, at any time you are expected to COMPLY.
Tim from Port Arthur asks – Is it a violation in Texas for a motor vehicle that has a flat tire to continue to roll down the street even if it’s going slow with its flashers on?
Answer: I’m sure this is an unfortunate event (flat tire) we’ve all observed or experienced at least once. No motorist is allowed to drive a motor vehicle on the roadways of Texas with a flat tire. I think we will all agree the action would be UNSAFE! I understand you may be in an area you don’t consider safe or such a distance away from help where walking is not an option. You could be cited for operating a motor vehicle with defective equipment. Remember, it’s always safest and the best practice to pull over to the far right and turn on the hazard lamps until your responding help arrives. Never drive on a flat tire. You are going to cause far more damage to your wheel and tire.
Marcus from Port Arthur asks: The other day I was on my way to work and a school bus was stopped on side of the road with its yellow lights flashing. I slowly drove past and ,still to this point, feel a little guilty like I’ve done something wrong. I was going to stop behind the bus, but there was this truck behind me blowing its horn, so I decided to slowly roll by the bus with its yellow flashing lights. The very last thing I want to do is hit a child crossing a street, because I passed a school bus. Help me. Was I right or wrong from being encouraged by another vehicle to drive by a flashing, stopped school bus? Thanks for all you do to keep us safe.
Answer: School busses are bright yellow and equipped with a stop sign and flashing yellow and red lights. The yellow flashing lights are cautionary lights, like all other yellow lights on our roadway. This brings our attention to the bus preparing to stop and makes us aware children will soon be entering or exiting the bus. If the lights were flashing yellow, you did NOT violate the law of passing a stopped school bus. It becomes a violation when the flashing lights are RED, and the driver of a motor vehicle continues to drive by the school bus. Thank you for having a heart for the safety of our children, because I’m sure school district bus drivers will tell you motorists disregard and pass their stopped school buses daily, even when the red stop sign is displayed and the lights are flashing red.
Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as Officer Antoine discusses the Ask A Cop article. Also, tune in at ksapthebreeze.org and call in questions live at 409-982-0247. Remember to email questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 to leave a message or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!