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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After renewing my driver’s license this morning, I decided to take the really long way home. The DMV station in Hagerstown is usually less crowded than the one in Frederick, although in the next county over from where I live. Afterwards, I rode through Sharpsburg, Maryland and the Antietam battlefield, crossed the Potomac River at Shepherdstown, West Virginia, followed a windy and narrow river road towards Harper’s Ferry, rode briefly in Virginia before re-crossing the Potomac River into Maryland and towards home.

While on Route 340 near Harpers Ferry, a county sheriff’s patrol car, with lights flashing, slowly entered a major intersection and stopped as several of us approached the same highway intersection at 60 MPH. We had the green light, but had no intention of interfering with the sheriff. We just didn’t know what he was doing; there was no siren. At least I didn’t know. He rolled down his window and extended his hand towards us with what appeared an obvious gesture for us to stop. We found out what was up soon enough.

The sheriff was leading a funeral procession. As I stopped near the sheriff’s car and looked up the road from which the procession came, I could not count all of the vehicles. The sheriff completed his turn and accelerated in front of the hearse, which had now made its turn along with several following vehicles, all of them now using the right lane. Several drivers around me, locals I suppose, figured out what was up fairly quickly, swerved into the passing lane as the procession used the right lane. The sheriff seemed OK with those maneuvers, and the locals, as it turns out, were merely getting in front of the slow procession before the two-lane highway narrowed to a one lane secondary road. The out-of-towner on the red FZ-09 didn’t realize this was about to happen, but finally decided “when in West Virginia, do as the West Virginians do.”

Now last in line using the passing lane, I passed many cars, trucks, SUVs, and finally, the hearse. As I prepared to pass the sheriff car, his vehicle lights still flashing as we approached the ‘funnel’ where two lanes narrow to one, he straddled the highway lanes. OK, redeye, passing at this point is probably not a good idea. He wants me to stay behind him after letting all of the others pass, which I thought was quite odd. There was plenty of room for me to complete the pass before the 'funnel.' Hours after the event, I wonder if he saw my neon hi-viz helmet and jacket in his rear view mirror, and misinterpreted my identity.

Not wishing to cause any commotion, and with honest respect for the deceased, I erroneously but proudly led (except for the sheriff’s car, lights flashing all the way immediately in front of me) the rather slow funeral procession a couple of miles until the sheriff turned off what had now become a two-lane secondary road and into the cemetery entrance. I offered a final, earnest salute and proceeded on my way home.
 

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that was a good gesture. By the way, Im about 45 min from Frederick, in Virginia. Message me if you'd like to ride at some time this season..
 

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Down here in TN, it is very common and even expected courtesy when you see a funeral procession coming towards you in the opposite direction, to safely pull off the side of the road and wait until the procession has completely passed, going the other direction.
 

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Different parts of the country handle funeral processions differently. I have noticed in the east, they do large processions for just about anyone, and almost always have police escort, while in the mountain west, every funeral I have ever been too, as well in California, there has never been a cop and it is everyone for himself to arrive at the burial plot. I guess in east the taxes are higher so... ha ha ha. I don't know the local law here in Rhode Island, but I have seen processions with police escort fly past us on the freeway at 85 mph with police escort on roads with posted limits of 55, and they literally run the traffic running the legal speed limit off the road.
 

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Down here in TN, it is very common and even expected courtesy when you see a funeral procession coming towards you in the opposite direction, to safely pull off the side of the road and wait until the procession has completely passed, going the other direction.
That's been my experience in Ohio/Indiana. You pull off the side of the road and wait for them to pass. I'm not sure how that would work on an interstate though..


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
that was a good gesture. By the way, Im about 45 min from Frederick, in Virginia. Message me if you'd like to ride at some time this season..
Sounds great. I know the area fairly well. My sister and her family live in Fairfax; you're not far off my route there.
 
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