ASK A COP — Can a funeral procession go through an intersection?
Published 12:20 am Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Harry from Nederland asks: My question is concerning a funeral procession I was in recently. There were two police officers escorting the funeral procession, but it was a big procession. Now here’s the issue because the procession was so big that the police officer left the intersection unmanned to go to help the lead officer so he could go and protect another intersection. Vehicles in the intersection kept going through the intersection, even though the signal was RED. Now cars who’s light was GREEN started coming into the intersection and there was a mess and several near wrecks. What are the vehicles in the funeral procession rights when the police escort is no longer at the intersection?
Answer: ALL of us are going to experience a funeral procession, whether we’re part of it or observing. The problem is there is a myth about what’s allowed during the funeral procession: like vehicles being able to disregard traffic signals in a procession when the police officer is not present. If a police officer has control of an intersection in a funeral procession and the officer leaves the intersection without another officer taking their place, ALL vehicles in the procession must OBEY the traffic signal. Just because you’re in a procession doesn’t automatically give you the green light to continue through a RED light intersection that’s not controlled by a police officer. I understand everyone wants to stay together and many may not be familiar with the direction to burial location. That’s why if you know in advance the funeral procession will be large, hire enough police officers for your funeral escorts.
Dwight from Port Arthur asks: My friend and I were discussing a speeding ticket he received a couple of years ago, and he’s determined to believe the officer mixed him up with someone else. His belief is he was traveling in the opposite direction where the officer was sitting in his patrol car. Now, I’m not quite certain how the police radars works. He has since paid that speeding ticket and hasn’t been stopped since, and he has become untrusting of police because he believes the officer falsely charged him with speeding. Can radars catch the speed of vehicles going in the opposite direction while the police car is standing still?
Answer: Your friend is like so many who operate motor vehicles. They are aware of their speedometers but have no clue how the police radars work. The police radar can record the speed of vehicles going the same direction as well as the opposite direction at the same time. There are antennas in the rear and front of police units equipped with radars that are able to check the speeds of vehicles. I always advise citizens if you do not believe you were the proper person charged when cited, go to the court and plead NOT GUILTY! Our judicial system is not perfect, but it allows you to have your day in court and the state along with the police officer MUST prove YOU violated a law! Tell your friend the officer could have checked his speed going the opposite direction even though he was standing still facing his vehicle.
Bell from Lumberton asks: I have a friend I regularly carpool with. He’s always eating, to the point he keeps a trash bag in his vehicle because of the constant stops to fast food establishments. His driving scares the wits out of me every time he gets behind the wheel. Is it illegal to eat while driving?
Answer: First thought that came to mind is that YOU need to invest in a different carpool partner. Saving $$$ for gas is not to be compared with saving your LIFE. Unfortunately at this time in the great state of Texas, eating while driving a motor vehicle is totally legal! No law against eating while driving.
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