Should Hidalgo County Ban Funeral Processions?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 10:33am

Recent fatal accident during a funeral procession is making people questions the need for funeral processions.

After the deadly accident during a funeral procession last week, residents in Hidalgo County are thinking about the importance of having funeral processions and the problems they pose the public.

"I think with the congestion of population we need to stop them and let people just go from the church to the cemetery or the funeral home to the cemetery," said Rene Guerra, Hidalgo County District Attorney.

Guerra said he has been worried about an accident happening for years and that a partial ban will not fix the problem.

"You have to have a total ban, if you are going to do it for one, you have to do it for all," said Guerra.

Guerra said that funeral processions are not just a problem to drivers, but a strain on law enforcement.

"I'm just thinking that we are wasting a lot of man hours in doing this and we are putting a lot of people at risk," said Guerra

But there are several people that aren't sure banning funeral processions is the answer.

"You do away with a funeral procession your doing away with a custom that has been with the people for hundreds of years," said Aaron Rivera, Rivera Funeral Home Director.

Many upper valley residents feel that funeral processions are an essential part in saying goodbye to a loved one. The only thing they feel necessary is to have a little more regulations.

"Better communication between people doing the escorts and funeral directors, and also the training of the people doing the escorts, as well as citing people who don't give the right of way to license sirens," said Rivera.

Guerra said the best way to approach a ban is to go through legislation, but he fears that there may be too many differing opinions.

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