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2011 Florida Statutes

SECTION 1974
Funeral procession right-of-way and liability.
F.S. 316.1974
316.1974 Funeral procession right-of-way and liability.
(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) “Funeral director” and “funeral establishment” shall have the same meaning as set forth in s. 497.005.
(b) “Funeral procession” means two or more vehicles accompanying the body of a deceased person, or traveling to the church, chapel, or other location at which the funeral service is to be held, in the daylight hours, including a funeral lead vehicle or a funeral escort vehicle.
(c) “Funeral lead vehicle” means any authorized law enforcement or non-law enforcement motor vehicle properly equipped pursuant to subsection (2) or a funeral escort vehicle being used to lead and facilitate the movement of a funeral procession. A funeral hearse may serve as a funeral lead vehicle.
(d) “Funeral escort” means a person or entity that provides escort services for funeral processions, including law enforcement personnel and agencies.
(e) “Funeral escort vehicle” means any motor vehicle that is properly equipped pursuant to subsection (2) and which escorts a funeral procession.
(2) EQUIPMENT.
(a) All non-law enforcement funeral escort vehicles and funeral lead vehicles shall be equipped with at least one lighted circulation lamp exhibiting an amber or purple light or lens visible under normal atmospheric conditions for a distance of 500 feet from the front of the vehicle. Flashing amber or purple lights may be used only when such vehicles are used in a funeral procession.
(b) Any law enforcement funeral escort vehicle may be equipped with red, blue, or amber flashing lights which meet the criteria established in paragraph (a).
(3) FUNERAL PROCESSION RIGHT-OF-WAY; FUNERAL ESCORT VEHICLES; FUNERAL LEAD VEHICLES.
(a) Regardless of any traffic control device or right-of-way provisions prescribed by state or local ordinance, pedestrians and operators of all vehicles, except as stated in paragraph (c), shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which is part of a funeral procession being led by a funeral escort vehicle or a funeral lead vehicle.
(b) When the funeral lead vehicle lawfully enters an intersection, either by reason of a traffic control device or at the direction of law enforcement personnel, the remaining vehicles in the funeral procession may follow through the intersection regardless of any traffic control devices or right-of-way provisions prescribed by state or local law.
(c) Funeral processions shall have the right-of-way at intersections regardless of traffic control devices, subject to the following conditions and exceptions:
1. Operators of vehicles in a funeral procession shall yield the right-of-way to an approaching emergency vehicle giving an audible or visible signal.
2. Operators of vehicles in a funeral procession shall yield the right-of-way when directed to do so by a police officer.
3. Operators of vehicles in a funeral procession must exercise due care when participating in a funeral procession.
(4) DRIVING IN PROCESSION.
(a) All vehicles comprising a funeral procession shall follow the preceding vehicle in the funeral procession as closely as is practical and safe.
(b) Any ordinance, law, or regulation stating that motor vehicles shall be operated to allow sufficient space enabling any other vehicle to enter and occupy such space without danger shall not be applicable to vehicles in a funeral procession.
(c) Each vehicle which is part of a funeral procession shall have its headlights, either high or low beam, and tail lights lighted and may also use the flashing hazard lights if the vehicle is so equipped.
(5) LIABILITY.
(a) Liability for any death, personal injury, or property damage suffered on or after October 1, 1997, by any person in a funeral procession shall not be imposed upon the funeral director or funeral establishment or their employees or agents unless such death, personal injury, or property damage is proximately caused by the negligent or intentional act of an employee or agent of the funeral director or funeral establishment.
(b) A funeral director, funeral establishment, funeral escort, or other participant that leads, organizes, or participates in a funeral procession in accordance with this section shall be presumed to have acted with reasonable care.
(c) Except for a grossly negligent or intentional act by a funeral director or funeral establishment, there shall be no liability on the part of a funeral director or funeral establishment for failing, on or after October 1, 1997, to use reasonable care in the planning or selection of the route to be followed by the funeral procession.
(6) VIOLATIONS.A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as a nonmoving violation for infractions of subsection (2), a pedestrian violation for infractions of subsection (3), or as a moving violation for infractions of subsection (3) or subsection (4) if the infraction resulted from the operation of a vehicle.
History.s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 1, ch. 76-31; s. 14, ch. 97-300; s. 147, ch. 99-248; s. 136, ch. 2004-301; s. 1, ch. 2005-155.
Note.Former s. 316.162.