By Chief Steven J. Wojnar
Dudley Police Department
I was asked to advise people of the regulations relating to funeral processions. I have written about this subject previously, however; it is always beneficial to remind people of these activities. Drivers who are not part of the funeral will quite frequently ignore the rules relative to these processions by “cutting” into or across the line. I was asked to clarify the laws and etiquette drivers should observe at these times.
Funerals have the right of way while traveling on the roads. They are given special privileges as well. Only the first vehicle in line is required to stop at a red signal or stop sign. The others following are not required to stop. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 42 prohibits anyone from willfully interrupting “by driving fast or otherwise in any way disturbing a funeral assembly or procession.” Punishments include fines or a jail sentence of up to one month.
Most funeral parlors provide some form of signage for participants to advise fellow motorist of the procession. Vehicles can use their headlights and/or hazard lights to provide additional warning. Drivers should be observant of traffic and pay particular attention to the possibility of a funeral passing by. These processions are not everyday occurrences through our town. They are generally short in duration and occur during daytime hours. Waiting for a few moments is the lawful thing to do. It is also a final token of respect for the deceased individual being brought to their final resting place.
On Friday, September 14th, I had the opportunity to participate in the Day of Caring, sponsored by the United Way of Webster and Dudley. This is a national program which involves citizens assisting with community projects as a way of giving back and improving our neighborhoods. Numerous places in Webster and Dudley received attention. The project I assisted with took place at Dudley Elementary School on School Street. I had the pleasure of working along side a group of Mapfre USA (Commerce) Insurance employees. Our project included landscaping and window cleaning at the school. Everyone worked very hard and a great deal was accomplished. I thank everyone who participated in this day. Everyone’s efforts greatly assisted both communities.
- Wednesday, 19 September 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Chief's Corner