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Funeral procession etiquette
Dear Street Smarts, Q: Regarding the law and proper etiquette pertaining to funeral processions: Recently I attended two funerals in metropolitan areas with numerous traffic signals and stop signs for a distance of 6-10 miles, one with a motorcycle escort and the other without. Who has the right-a-way and who is responsible in case of a collision?Thank you for your column. George Medeiros, Watsonville A: According to California Vehicle Code section 2817, drivers are not to "block or hinder a funeral procession. Vehicles taking part in a funeral procession have the right-of-way, and if you interfere, obstruct, or interrupt the funeral procession, you are subject to a citation. A funeral procession is led by a traffic officer. All vehicles taking part in the procession have windshield markers to identify them and have their headlights on." If there is a police escort, “the vehicle code mandates that motorists obey direction given by a peace officer during a funeral procession,” said Lt. Michael Ridgway, of Watsonville police. “That would imply that during a procession those in the procession have the right of way.” When funeral processions are not escorted, the rules of the road apply to all motorists, including those in the procession. “It would be an infraction to do otherwise,” said Ridgway. If members of a funeral procession were involved in a collision, “the totality of the circumstances would have to be examined,” he continued. “But generally, the primary collision factor would be determined just as it always is based on the facts of that particular incident.” New MST bus service to connects Santa Cruz to downtown Monterey, Presidio There's a new bus service in town. Monterey-Salinas Transit is now offering express bus service linking downtown Santa Cruz with downtown Monterey and the Presidio. The new twice daily service, Line 78, began Saturday, Feb. 2. During the week, the line makes stops in Castroville, at the Salinas Road Park-N-Ride, in Aptos, at Cabrillo College and at Dominican Hospital. On weekends, the new service will make minimal stops, reducing travel time to about an hour, with one stop at the Sand City Station. For schedules and route information, call 1-888-MST-BUS1. That information will eventually be up on the transit agency's website at www.mst.org. Follow the transit agency on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mst_bus.