A motorcade (sometimes known as a carcade or autocade) is a procession of vehicles. The term motorcade is a neologism coined by Lyle Abbot (in 1912 or 1913, when he was automobile editor of the Arizona Republican), and is formed after cavalcade on the false notion that "-cade" was a suffix meaning "procession". In fact, there is no such suffix in either French or Latin, although -cade has now since become a productive suffix in English, leading to the alternative names carcade, autocade, and even Hoovercade (after J. Edgar Hoover). Eric Partridge calls the name a "monstrosity", and Lancelot Hogben considers the word to be a "counterfeit coinage". The original suffix in cavalcade is actually "-ade".[1][2][3]

Uses of motorcades Edit

Funerals Edit

A funeral cortege is a procession of mourners, most often in a motorcade of vehicles following a hearse.[4]

Protests and demonstrations Edit

Motorcades can be used as protests and demonstrations.[5] A large, organised, group of vehicles will travel a busy route at very slow speed in order to deliberately cause traffic disruption. This a tactic most often associated with protest groups that have access to many large vehicles, such as truckers and farmers. An example is the 2005 UK protests against fuel prices.[6]

VIPs Edit

Main article: Official state car

Motorcades can be used to transport a very important person, usually a political figure. Such a procession consists of several vehicles, usually accompanied by law enforcement support and additional protection to ensure the safety of the people in the motorcade.[7] Motorcades for presidents and heads of state consist of anywhere from four to six armoured cars or SUVs, with police motorcycles and cars leading the way and following.

Traffic diversionsEdit

Depending on the size of the motorcade and who it is carrying, routes may be completely blockaded from the general public.[7] For security reasons, this is common with motorcades for heads of state or government.[7]

President of the United StatesEdit

Main article: Presidential State Car (United States)

The motorcade for the President of the United States comprises twenty to thirty vehicles; in addition to the president, the motorcade may carry his spouse, members of the press, security, White House officials, and VIP guests.[7] The major members travel in armored vehicles, typically specially configured limousines. The motorcade contains several armored vehicles, a counter-assault team, and Secret Service agents.[7] When called for, a hazardous materials team precedes the motorcade on alert for potential hazards.[7]

A police presence precedes the beginning of the presidential motorcade. These cars and motorcycles usually drive ahead to clear the way and block traffic.[8]

The motorcade for the president is made up of two parts, the first being the "secure package".[9] In the event of an emergency, the secure package separates from the rest of the group.[9] It includes two limousines, is heavily guarded by local law enforcement and Secret Service, with all cars driven by professional drivers.[9]

The second part is made up of vans that transport White House staff members and selected members of the press. In the rear is a communications van that records the president's movements, an ambulance, and additional police vehicles.[7][9]

Motorcade routes are selected by Secret Service agents in cooperation with local police forces. Escape routes are also established in the event of an emergency.[9]

External linksEdit

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