Do SC drivers legally have to stop for funeral processions? Here’s what state law says

Have you ever been stuck in frozen traffic in South Carolina, only to later learn that everyone stopped because of a funeral procession going the other way?

It is a long-standing tradition in the Palmetto State and much of the Southeast for traffic to give way to funeral processions on the road. It’s generally considered a respectful thing to do.

But are drivers legally required to do so in South Carolina?

SC Funeral Procession Law

It turns out that in general, there is no legal requirement to stop for a funeral procession in South Carolina, according to David Blackwell Law in Lancaster. South Carolina Code of Laws makes no mention of requiring drivers to stop for funeral processions.

However, motorists may be required to stop for law enforcement officers involved in funeral processions. Often, local police or sheriff’s departments direct traffic outside a funeral home or at an intersection to avoid accidents at the start of the procession. South Carolina drivers must always obey traffic instructions from attending law enforcement officers.

SC Motorcade Law

Under state law Section 56-5-1930, motorcades must leave enough space between vehicles to leave another vehicle between them if necessary. However, this law specifically exempts funeral processions, meaning that funeral processions can travel close enough together to prevent other vehicles from entering.

Funeral Procession Safety Tips

If you come across a funeral procession on the road, here are some tips to follow to ensure your safety and that of others, according to Funeral.

  • The custom of stopping for funeral processions has been around for so long that it is better and safer on your part not to break the tradition. Go ahead and give in. Even if the motorcade passes a red light and your light is green, simply continue to yield until the motorcade has passed.

  • Look for the last vehicle in the procession. There will usually be two or more flags and flashing hazard lights….

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