We love a good parade here in Northwest Florida. There are Christmas parades, Mardi Gras parades, St. Patrick’s Day parades and during the summer we have weekly parades to entertain those who come to visit the Emerald Coast. We thought it was prudent to put out some safety tips for parades, especially after reading about the tragedy that occurred this past weekend in New Orleans. According to WEAR, Channel 3, at least 12 people were critically injured when a vehicle plowed into a crowd watching a parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans. 21 people were hospitalized after the crash. Police say the suspect was taken into custody and is being investigated for driving while intoxicated.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who were injured in this horrible accident. We hope that event organizers had every safety precaution put out to try to prevent this tragedy, even though it happened. It also made us think what could those who were in attendance do to prevent being injured at a parade. There are actually tips for parade attendees to do when participating/attending a parade. The Heart of America Metro Fire Chiefs Council suggests a few things to keep in mind to make the event safe and enjoyable for the entire family:
• Plan to Get There Early
• Avoid the “Bad Spots”: Avoid sitting near the corner of any sidewalks as this is where they usually place parade walk-throughs. Another spot to avoid is directly in front of the door of any shops or restaurants. No matter where you sit, you’re going to have people step over you, but there is always much more traffic just in front of the doors.
• Lost Children: You probably don’t want to think about your child getting away from you but it happens. The police department will usually have a van, trailer or other plainly marked location where you can retrieve your lost child.
• Night Parades: If you are attending parades at night, make sure you park in a safe, well-lit area, near the parade route.
• Barricades: Make sure you keep your kids behind the barricades on the parade routes; they are there for a purpose, the safety of parade-goers.
University of California provides helpful safety precautions for those participating in a parade:
• Towing vehicle drivers shall possess a valid driver license.
• The towing vehicle and float shall each carry an approved 5 lb Type AB fire
• Drivers shall have a clear field of vision that encompasses 180 degrees and
provides a view in front and to each side of the vehicle. Photograph courtesy of San
• The towing vehicle shall have a functioning horn and brakes that are in good Mateo County 4-H Program
working order. In addition, the vehicle shall have been properly serviced with
oil, water, and fuel. Extra gasoline shall not be carried on the float.
• Towed floats shall have safety chains attached to the towing vehicle.
• Parade floats should maintain a 30 foot interval between other entries in front of them.
• All sitting float riders shall remain seated and use restraining belts, if available. Standing float riders shall
have body support and firmly grasp hand holds and rails.
• No person shall jump off or onto a moving float.
• Float riders shall not throw candy or other items to spectators. Candy or other items may be distributed to
spectators by hand from parade participants walking along side the float.
• Float riders shall not spray water or other fluids at spectators
If you or a loved one has been injured at a parade as a result of an event organizer’s failure to provide safety precautions, you can get experienced help at Brannon & Brannon. Contact us for a free consultation at (850)659-2252 or through our website at brannoncanhelp.com.