December 8, 2012

It is long past time for the quaint practice of funeral processions to end [“Traffic etiquette passing hearses by,” front page, Dec. 5].

Traffic in the D.C. area is among the worst in the nation. Funeral directors could help alleviate some of this by taking mourners to cemeteries in vans or small buses instead of quarter-mile-long parades of private cars. This would also, in some small way, cut down on automotive emissions.

Dennis Flannagan, Silver Spring

The cars involved in funeral processions often are not clearly marked. One day, as I approached 16th Street NW from a side street, my light changed to green, but cars heading south on 16th did not stop. So I stopped. Because a conga line of cars was disregarding the red light and many of the cars had their lights on during the day, I guessed it was a funeral procession. I had arrived too late to see the hearse. I saw no “funeral” signs on the cars.

The Post reported that Americans spend $12 billion yearly on funerals. Couldn’t funeral parlors invest in some large, reflective, white car-door magnets with the word “funeral” marked boldly in red to lend to mourners who are taking their personal vehicles to cemeteries? A highly visible and consistent way of marking mourners’ cars might make things safer for everyone.

Jeannette Hayes, Silver Spring

It seems to me that funeral directors need to wake up and smell their flowers.

The problem here is not the impatience of motorists who can’t get to appointments on time or pick up their children on schedule. The problem is the arrogance of the funeral industry, which imposes on the general public quite unnecessarily. Maybe giving the right of way to funeral convoys made some sense in small towns long ago, when waits were short and those waiting might have known the deceased.

Funeral directors can provide maps and addresses for the ubiquitous GPS units and let those involved drive to the cemeteries on their own. The participants will arrive nearly as quickly as in a procession, and other traffic will flow more safely.

John Hansman, Rockville