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Old 06-21-2010, 09:04 PM
 
Location: rural North Carolina
272 posts, read 684,709 times
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Being new to the area I've been wondering what the purpose was of funeral signs that appear along the road. The signs have "Slow Funeral" on one side and "Thank You" along with the name of the funeral home on the other. Two signs are placed about a quarter mile apart, one on each side of the road. They usually stay up a week or so.

The Wife thinks it's to slow down passing cars as a sign of respect to the grieving family. She's usually right about things. Is this the case or is there another reason?

Also, is this a local or Southern tradition?
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:32 AM
 
201 posts, read 519,307 times
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Yes, it is a respect thing. You should drive by slower and not be blaring your radio. I was born and raised here, lived here 47 years so I don't know if it is a southern thing. I guess you are from another state and seem to think so? Maybe some others can chime in.

By the way, if you see a funeral procession on the road, you should pull off to the side of the road until they pass.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:20 AM
 
231 posts, read 610,286 times
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The signs are not a "respect" thing. They are an advertisement for the funeral home. If it were about respect, then there would be no mention of the funeral home on the signs. After all, what's more disrespectful to the dead than turning that death into a commercial? What's next, a movie poster on the headstone?

The following comes directly from the general statutes. There are only certain situations in which it is appropriate to pull over to allow a funeral procession to pass.

"The operator of a vehicle proceeding in the opposite direction as a funeral procession may yield to the funeral procession. If the operator chooses to yield to the procession, the operator must do so by reducing speed, or by stopping completely off the roadway when meeting the procession or while the procession passes, so that operators of other vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction of the procession can continue to travel without leaving their lane of traffic.
(h) The operator of a vehicle proceeding in the same direction as a funeral procession shall not pass or attempt to pass the funeral procession, except that the operator of such a vehicle may pass a funeral procession when the highway has been marked for two or more lanes of moving traffic in the same direction of the funeral procession.
(i) An operator of a vehicle shall not knowingly drive between vehicles in a funeral procession by crossing their path unless directed to do so by a person authorized to direct traffic. When a funeral procession is proceeding through a steady or strobe‑beam stoplight emitting a red light as permitted by subsection (c), an operator of a vehicle that is not in the funeral procession shall not enter the intersection knowing a funeral procession is in progress, even if facing a steady or strobe‑beam stoplight emitting a green light, unless the operator can do so safely without crossing the path of the funeral procession."
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:39 AM
 
Location: rural North Carolina
272 posts, read 684,709 times
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Trese
I moved here from Delaware but I've lived all over the country and abroad. This is the first time I've seen the signs. The rules regarding how to treat a funeral procession while driving are pretty much the same as elsewhere.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:41 AM
 
2,648 posts, read 6,085,655 times
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Sorry olrac, but I disagree. I've seen many such signs that do not have the name of the funeral home--they simply say "Death in Family" or "Slow Funeral." It is very much a "respect" thing. I don't know about other parts of the country, but here in NC it's just understood that a grieving household deserves a bit of courtesy.

And I don't understand your comment "There are only certain situations in which it is appropriate..." It is always appropriate to pull over to allow a funeral procession to pass (unless, of course, there is a safety concern). The statute doesn't require it, but it also doesn't define a situation where it is not appropriate.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:19 AM
 
231 posts, read 610,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbyunc View Post
Sorry olrac, but I disagree. I've seen many such signs that do not have the name of the funeral home--they simply say "Death in Family" or "Slow Funeral." It is very much a "respect" thing. I don't know about other parts of the country, but here in NC it's just understood that a grieving household deserves a bit of courtesy.

And I don't understand your comment "There are only certain situations in which it is appropriate..." It is always appropriate to pull over to allow a funeral procession to pass (unless, of course, there is a safety concern). The statute doesn't require it, but it also doesn't define a situation where it is not appropriate.
I've never seen a "Slow - Funeral" sign with no mention of the funeral home on it. If you've seen them, then I'll take your word for it.

As for processions, courtesy too often trumps safety in people's minds. I've seen too many accidents and near-collisions caused by unnecessary yielding to funeral processions and similar situations in which a driver thinks he's doing the right thing but is actually endangering others.
The RULES of the road must take priority over courtesy.
It's not just funeral processions, of course. How many wrecks/near-misses have you witnessed that resulted from a driver being polite by yielding right-of-way to someone who did not have it? I've lost count, personally.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:29 AM
 
2,648 posts, read 6,085,655 times
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^ I completely agree--as I said if there is a safety concern then obviously that should take precedence over yielding to a funeral procession. I haven't observed this to be a rampant problem though. Perhaps it's because I expect people to pull over, so I'm more cautious and watchful if I see a funeral.
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:27 AM
 
231 posts, read 610,286 times
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I don't think that most drivers think about safety when they see flashing lights. I constantly see people nearly run other cars off of the road because their first reaction to seeing an emergency vehicle approaching from behind with lights flashing is to panic and wildly swerve to the right, regardless of what might be there.
I yield to funeral processions as dictated by law. I'm not one to blindly follow tradition, and I see no rational explanation for how it's respectful to yield or disrespectful not to. I think it's just become something that people accept and do, without thinking of whether it makes any sense at all. It might be disrespectful to speed loudly past a procession, or to yell at them from your window, or to present obscene gestures to them, or to blare music with windows open while passing. Simply passing the procession can hardly be described as a sign of disrespect. I'm quite certain that no one will invoke the wrath of an angry spirit as a result of driving past a funeral procession.
I was, however, nearly forced off of Bryan Blvd. by two drivers within a procession who thought that the appropriate response to a driver passing them (quietly and slowly), was to try to ram my car. Now that's respect!

But I think we've veered off-topic regarding funeral signs.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:18 PM
 
201 posts, read 519,307 times
Reputation: 70
I certainly didn't say it was "law"--I was merely stating what I was brought up to believe. Yes, born and raised here in NC. Proud of it. Y'all have a nice day
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:22 PM
 
231 posts, read 610,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trese View Post
Yes, born and raised here in NC.
Same here.
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