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Funeral Escort Bikers

Discussion in 'Law Enforcement' started by FireDave, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. FireDave

    FireDave Banned Camp

    What law allows Funeral Escort bikers to do the following:

    1. Respond 'code red' withs lights and sirens when no emergency exists
    2. Ride faster than the posted speed limits
    3. Ride in the on-coming lanes of traffic
    4. Force other vehicles off the road.
    5. Effectively impersonate police officers. Cop-like bike with red-flashing (not blue) lights, badges, uniforms, behavior. Are they cops?

    I was southbound on 3rd Ave NW in Seattle, when a Northbound funeral procession and it's gaggle of police-look-alike escorts came along. 3rd Ave NW is a two lane road, and one of the escort bikers was coming at me, head-on, in my lane, at easily 50 mph. Our closing speed was at least 80 mph. The posted speed limit is 30 mph.

    I did not immediately pull to the right and stop, so this biker swerved at me, forcing me to dynamite the brakes and ride onto a very narrow and slick shoulder (in the rain).

    Hope I can clear this up. One of these guys is gonna cause a wreck, so a dead guy can get to the grave just a bit sooner?
  2. FireDave

    FireDave Banned Camp

    Is this forum dead?

  3. Guy M

    Guy M (Washington) City

    Pretty much.

    And I don't think we ever had a lot of input from the Seattle area LEO's here.

    I can't answer the Seattle area question, and am pretty well done here anyway.

    courier11sec likes this.
  4. twastp

    twastp Washington State Patrol

    Most if not all of the funeral procession motorcycles are off duty law enforcement. I do not know the laws that regulate them but I will look into it for you and will let you know.

  5. twastp

    twastp Washington State Patrol

    Ok Fire Dave,

    I did some research and here is what I found. The funeral motorcycle escorts are companies that provide “For Hire” motorcycle escort services. These companies are required to get a permit from the Washington State Patrol that designates each vehicle to act as an emergency vehicle. The vehicles are not allowed to display a blue light and are also "Not" exempt from traffic laws. So they are not allowed to speed or drive as if they are going to an emergency. Drivers are not required to yield to them as they are for a police/fire vehicle but might do so because they do not know this or out of respect. Not all of the employees that work for the escort services are law enforcement/fire fighters.

    If you feel the need to file a complaint, you can contact the Commissioner on Equipment and file a complaint. The company could possible get their permit revoked if complaints are generated. You would likely need the name of the company providing the escort or they may be able to look it up by location (not sure).

    Also, keep in mind, some of the motorcycle escorts are law enforcement and if someone does something negligent such as cutting the escort off, they can take enforcement. But yielding the right of way to them is not required.

    Hope this answered your questions.

    Here is some reference info -

    Chapter 204-36 WAC
    Authorized emergency vehicle permits

  6. FireDave

    FireDave Banned Camp

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