Funeral Processions

Funeral ProcessionThis 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 by-laws 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 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.

Reference Links:


Have noticed the local

Have noticed the local funeral home puts on their 4 way flashers and those in the procession follow suit. Know nothing about the legality of this but it should draw the attention of other drivers noticing a line of cars all with flashers.

Forget where I saw it the last car in the procession had a sign stating "Funeral Procession". So far have never come across the use of purple lights.

Purple Lamps

In Alberta, every vehicle owned by the funeral home and being used in the procession would have a flashing purple light(s). If the proession was caught in an intersection when the light turned red, they would continue through and everyone else would politely wait. I am unsure of the legalities surround this procedure, but it didn't seem like a big deal.


The last of the 3 reference links in the original article explains the application of purple flashing lights in BC/

Regulated in some cities in BC by Municipal Bylaws

From the City of Vancouver Street and Traffic Bylaw 2849


35. (1) No driver of a vehicle shall drive between the vehicles comprising a funeral or other authorized procession while it is in motion. This provision shall not apply at intersections where traffic is being controlled by traffic-control signals or police officers.
(2) Funeral processions shall be identified as such by each vehicle therein having its headlights illuminated.

(3) The route taken by any funeral procession consisting of vehicles and persons on foot shall be subject to the written approval of the Chief Constable. 

Like you said, turning headlights is dated.

Google Ads