As mourners travel in funeral processions from the funeral service to the cemetery, their thoughts are most often on the loss they are mourning. Yet, accidents can and do occur during funeral processions that can result in injuries or even fatalities.
Pennsylvania law allows entire funeral processions to go through red lights, as long as the first car goes through the intersection when the light is green. Funeral directors typically rely on headlights and flags on cars to alert other motorists to the procession.
However, those precautions may not be enough. A new bill passed by the Pennsylvania legislature will allow funeral homes the option of providing small 6×6 inch purple lights for members of funeral processions to put in their back windows. These lights will alert other motorists to the funeral procession.
Some lawmakers opposed the law out of concern that people not in a funeral procession would take to using lights which could be confusing and distracting to other motorists.
Governor Corbett is expected to sign this bill into law.
As an accidental death lawyer, I hope that fatal accidents can be avoided with the use of the purple light and that families can avoid mourning a second death on the day of a loved one’s funeral.