Life is Hard. Wear a Helmet.

Life is Hard. Wear a Helmet

Virginia State Constitution: Article 1; Section 13
That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Alabama State Constitution: Article 1: Section 26
That every Citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the State.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday morning sleep-in #35

What's the proper etiquette for merging onto the highway when there's a mile-long funeral procession passing in front of the acceleration lane?

I was rolling onto 95 southbound and I popped up next to the highway about three cars back from a hearse. A glance in my mirror showed hazard lights flashing on all the cars in the right lane for as far back as I could make out.
What to do? Be rude and cut into a funeral procession, or stop my truck in the acceleration lane of an on-ramp and wait until they all passed?
How would I feel about some stranger sliding his car into/through, say, my dad's funeral? On the other hand, how would I feel about coming up behind a truck at a dead stop in the acceleration lane of a major highway?
Braking in an acceleration lane is on MSgt B's list of top five most dangerous things to do (along with running with scissors and buying a second Glock.) so I made the decision to just roll with it. The car on my left rear quarter panel had slowed to offer me a space, so I went ahead and cut into the procession for a moment, leaving my left turn signal on and looking for a chance to pull out of the procession to the left as soon as possible.

Then things got worse.

Think about it. Here's this funeral procession rolling along in the right lane, doing 55 mph in a 65 mph zone, all with their flashers going.
We're talking about Route 95 here folks. The two lanes to the left of the procession were packed with cars travelling anywhere from 768 mph to 186,200 mps and here I am riding along in this long line of cars with their flashers on, and I've got my left turn signal on.
No one was letting me out of that funeral procession. To all the cars passing us, I looked like just another guy riding along with my hazard flashers going. After travelling like this for a couple miles, I finally had to find an "almost" adequate gap in the traffic and jump out and stomp the accelerator.
I started my Hail Mary as I saw my chance approaching, and just as I hit the "Pray for us sinners" part, I swung the wheel and nailed it.
The guy I cut off probably crapped himself. What must he have been thinking? "Well, Boy. Decided you didn't like Uncle Joe that much after all?"

*insert facepalm here*

9 comments:

Old NFO said...

That IS a hard one, don't know that I would have done anything different than you did. Hard choices...

Murphy's Law said...

This is why funeral processions aren't supposed to be on the highway, if I recall correctly. That mess was the funeral director's fault.

Anonymous said...

When I first moved to NC,about 15 years ago,I was surprised to find that everyone in town stops when a funeral goes by.All traffic,both ways,just like if a fire truck with it's lights on approaches.On the highway,they don't stop,but they never break into a funeral procession,no matter how slow or how long.I don't know if it's local tradition out of courtesy or if it's the law (I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket)but everybody does it.
Bill

skidmark said...

Code of Virginia § 46.2-828.1. Impeding or disrupting certain funeral processions; penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for the operator of any motor vehicle intentionally to impede or disrupt a funeral procession. Any person convicted of violating this subsection shall be guilty of a traffic infraction and shall, in addition to a penalty assessed pursuant to § 46.2-113, be assessed four driver demerit points.

B. This section shall apply only to funeral processions that are either (i) travelling under police or sheriff's escort as provided in § 46.2-828 or (ii) escorted or led by vehicles displaying warning lights as provided in § 46.2-1025.

(2000, c. 274.)

As much as it may be risky, you are to stop and wait until it passes. It's the friggin law, you farging bastage.

Vop I know suggests if caught at the bottom of the ramp you pull your vehicle somewhat sideways across the ramp - but leave enough room to get out after the procession passes. It puts your passenger side (presumed to be vacant) as a buffer in case tjhe next one down the ramp cannot stop i time, and may keep you from having a procession of your own.

stay safe.

Jess said...

Personally, I want to shoot the finger at the people that are silly enough to wander onto the interstate with a funeral procession. Why they can't all just meet there in about an hour, after food and drink, is beyond my comprehension.

There's nothing logical about killing a few dozen people in a traffic accident to bury a body.

The only person that has any reason to be offended is closed in a box.

Coffeypot said...

In GA you can get a ticket for passing a funeral possession on the interstate - if there are enough cop cars. I have seen four lanes all going the funeral speed. I get off and go to the Waffle House for some joe until the mess has passed.

rgranger said...

In the older parts of Louisiana and Texas we pull over and wait for the precession to pass. On a 2 lane road, both sides stop and show respect.

why they don't meet there, possibly because there are a lot of older folks a funerals and they need to be assisted and lead to the place.

RabidAlien said...

On highways and streets, I will stop for a funeral procession, no matter which side of the road its on. I've only seen one on the interstate, it was cresting the hill behind me as I merged in from the onramp, maybe 1/4 mile ahead of the hearse and escorting police motorcycles. Found out later that the body of a fallen serviceman was being moved through the area, I can only imagine that that's what was behind me. Had I known for sure that's what it was, I would have slowed down and pulled over to wait, just to pay my respects. But that's the only funeral procession I've seen on an interstate here in the DFW area.

MSgt B said...

SO it turns out not only am I an asshole, but a traffic violator as well.
This is my shocked face.