Make Parades As Safe As Possible

Posted on January 6, 2014

The Rose Parade was held last week in Pasadena, and thousands of citizens from around California and the rest of the country descended on the area to take part in festivities and to take in a football game.

There are numerous opportunities for various types of parades throughout the state at other times of the year, and parade accidents are a distinct possibility during such events.  Thankfully, there are ways in which the danger can be minimized.  A new report relates some of the findings from the National Transportation Safety Board’s review of various parade policies from around the country, and their insights can help parade planners anywhere come up with the type of plans that can keep visitors as safe as possible.

For instance, there are certain things that could contribute to a fire, and therefore eliminating these threats from the parade floats and routes could improve safety.  The storage of fuel or the usage of generators should be minimized, and when you absolutely must have these things on hand for the parade, usage should be carried out in an appropriate manner.  Space heaters and open flames also deserve caution, especially around parade floats that could go up like kindling if exposed to high heat.

The actions that take place on and along parade floats can also dictate whether or not an injury is going to occur.  You’ve likely attended a parade where persons are sitting on the back of a truck throwing out candy and other treats to persons along the route.  Unfortunately, such an activity compromises safety in two regards:  the persons throwing things are at risk of falling, and those along the route who have their sights set on a given item (like children scavenging for candy) will go after that item without caution.  A rule barring this activity may help.  It might be better for people to walk along the route and hand things out, provided they’re not hopping on and off vehicles.

You also want people at the wheel who are capable of safely navigating the route.  Drivers obviously should be barred from having drugs or alcohol in their systems, but they also have to understand less obvious precautions like keeping speed to a minimum and not abruptly hitting the brakes or gas unless absolutely necessary to avoid an accident.  Cellphones should be put down and the driver ought to scan his or her environment at all times so that they can react if a child, an animal, or even an adult cuts across the path.

Finally, make sure there is someone available who actually can put these rules together and come up with a route that is safe for all involved.

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