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Drivers...give finger to funeral hearses

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Drivers increasingly cut up funeral processions and make obscene gestures at hearses, funeral directors said on Tuesday.


Schoolchildren have even thrown stones at a horse-drawn coffin.


The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors -- which organises 60 percent of the country's funerals -- said its members reported poor behaviour from drivers totally unsympathetic to the deceased's final journey.


"There is a disregard by many road users for the sanctity of the funeral cortege," said spokesman John Weir.


"People cut up the hearse or cut in between the hearse and the limousine. These are very distinctive vehicles so they must know what they are doing."


Drivers were at their worst in inner cities like London and Manchester, he said, suggesting that they might simply be frustrated by bad traffic.


"I was out a couple of weeks ago and someone gave me the two-fingered salute," he said. "I think it is representative of a lot of what is happening in modern Britain."


On Monday, firefighters complained they were coming under increasing attack as they answered emergency calls, echoing similar complaints from doctors and other professionals.


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