I am a funeral celebrant in Edmonton. As a celebrant, I help families plan an appropriate service/life celebration and am with them as their officiant the day of the service. Part of many services includes a procession to a cemetery at the conclusion of the service. This is where an already difficult day can add more stress to a family. People traveling to the cemetery are asked to have their headlights on high beam and their four way flashers on. They often will have a sticker on their side window that states “funeral”. Some funeral homes have magnetic signs placed on vehicles. The funeral coach (hearse) and often a lead car, will both have purple flashing lights on the roof, warning other drivers it is a funeral procession.
It surprises me how disrespectful drivers in our city are, of a funeral procession. Rather than wait the 2 or 3 minutes for the procession to pass, people will try edge their vehicles in or try to stop the procession from going through an intersection. I’ve seen city transit buses merge in funeral processions, motorcycles and even pedestrians trying to run their way across a moving procession. Because of others’ impatience, funeral processions are often broken up and sometimes mourners not making it to the cemetery because they were relying on the lead vehicles to get them there. The police no longer offer escorted processions unless it’s a state funeral; that used to be very helpful.
I ask the public, please be considerate of an already broken hearted family and give them 2 minutes out of your day so they can make it safely and without incident to the cemetery to lay their loved one to rest. Think about your own family and if it were you saying goodbye to a loved one that day. Would you want an ETS bus joining or cutting off your procession?