NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

Leon M Henry, 79, of Gloucester City
Shelby L. Brooks, age 37, of Brooklawn; Cold Springs School Teacher, GHS Alumnus

The Center Square: Motorcycle processions ask for funeral rights, AGAIN


This story has been updated since original publication to include more information about the legislative proposals.

(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania lawmakers want to grant organized motorcycle processions the same rights cars have during funerals.

The companion bills – introduced by Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Greenville, and Rep. Perry Stambaugh, R-New Bloomfield – would give organized charitable or memorial rides with at least 10 participants the ability to proceed through traffic signals and stop signs as a group.

Stambaugh told The Center Square the bills would update rules for motorcycles and bring them into compliance with motor vehicle code, and – more importantly – give local officials advanced notice.

Additional provisions in the proposals, House Bill 457 and Senate Bill 595, state:

  • All participants are required to have headlights on and use emergency flashers if possible.
  • An organized group is defined as 10 or more.
  • The sponsor must notify the affected municipalities no later than three days before a funeral procession and 14 days prior to a charity ride.
  • Must be sponsored by a nonprofit organization or corporation.
  • At a minimum, road guards responsible for traffic control must wear high visibility safety vests.

The law would not apply to a group of motorcyclists out on a ride for social purposes. 

A.B.A.T.E. of PA, also called Alliance for Bikers Aimed Toward Education, said most organized motorcycle processions either honor a fallen veteran or raise money for charity – and coordinating police escorts isn’t always possible.

“We want to make it less complicated to get that done,” said Ken Edwards, the alliance’s legislative coordinator.

The frustration drivers feel while waiting for a motorcycle procession to pass “might be tempered if people understood that it’s never just to make you wait – it’s all part of giving back some community service,” he said. 

The House approved a similar bill in March 2021, though it never received consideration in the Senate.