Seattle, Washington

Funeral Processions in the Seattle Area

Few police departments still provide official police escorts for funeral processions. Official police involvement is usually limited to high-profile funerals. However, private motor escort companies have popped up to provide motorcycle escorts for funeral processions.

Escort riders plan the procession route and keep the cars in the procession together by advancing to block off or "capture" intersections to keep non-procession traffic from interfering. Once a procession is through an intersection, riders speed ahead to clear the next intersection. A minimum of two riders is typically required. As a rule of thumb, companies provide one rider for every 10 cars in the procession.

Riders wear uniforms to give them a professional appearance in keeping with the dignity of the occasion.

In the Seattle area, two companies provide escorts: Washington State Motorcade Inc. and Olympic Motor Escort. Both firms charge approximately $125 per motorcycle.

Riders usually are police officers or firefighters working off-duty. Riders usually have many years of experience in motor escorts and have taken specialized training. In addition, companies put riders through a training period, administer written exams, and subject them to written evaluations. Motor escort companies carry liability insurance and operate using permits granted by the Washington State Patrol.

Funeral homes can arrange for a motor escort if you request this service. Although companies usually prefer a few days' notice, they can accommodate religions with strict time requirements for burial.