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Minutes for SB131 - Committee on Transportation

Short Title

Regulating funeral processions and permitting funeral escorts to direct traffic for funeral processions.

Minutes Content for Wed, Feb 24, 2021

The Chairperson opened the hearing on SB131

Mr. Siebers briefed the committee commenting on each section to clarify the provisions for regulating funeral processions.  He noted the new definitions for processions, vehicles and escorts; violations issued when drivers are not yielding right-of-way; distance between following vehicles; and notifications to be delivered to law enforcement (Attachment 9).

Senator Pittman commented that thirty states have statutes related to recognizing funeral processions and noted the omission of statutes in Kansas.  He shared a personal experience in the burial of a veteran where the military escorts conducted themselves honorably and professionally while managing traffic.  Senator Pittman emphasized the importance of having definitive regulations outlined in SB131 for funeral processions in Kansas (Attachment 10).

Pam Scott spoke as a proponent of SB131.  She reported there is no comprehensive law in Kansas governing funeral processions.  Currently rules are established by county and city with no consistency.  Having uniform statewide funeral procession laws would improve safety for the public.  Ms. Scott referenced a statement in the Kansas Drivers Handbook which could help inform and educate the public regarding laws and regulations (Attachment 11).

Ronald M. Wurtele spoke in support of SB131, saying passage of the bill would help to ensure the safety of Patriot Guard Riders who escort funeral processions to local and National Cemeteries in Kansas.  He said the group ensures the safety and protection of vehicles and considers it an honor to be involved in the funeral procession (Attachment 12).

Bruce Holmes, the State Ride Captain of Patriot Guard Riders in Kansas, spoke as a proponent of SB131.  He named a number of other organizations similarly involved and indicated the importance of providing for the safety and security of riders while conducting services for funeral processions (Attachment 13).

Written Proponent Testimony follows:

The hearing for SB131 was closed.