With the Elizabeth Stampede Parade coming up on June 7, Police Chief Michael Phibbs is taking steps to make the experience safer for the community by proposing new parade rules to the Town of Elizabeth Board of Trustees.
The proposals were discussed April 8 at the board meeting, and were scheduled to resume on April 22.
“Many of these tragedies are a result of individuals being caught-up in the excitement of an event not exercising reasonable precautions,” Phibbs wrote in a memo to the board. “If any of you have participated in any of our large parades in the last few years, you know just how chaotic and confusing the staging areas can be for everyone. There can be a very interesting mix of individuals that do not understand anything about the other participants’ animals or equipment. It is very easy for people with horses, tractors, large trucks, motorcycles, or small children to forget that not everyone there understands about the hazards of working around the specific parade entries.
“There are a variety of issues to be considered like: noise and visibility, issues for drivers, stopping distance issues, moving parts, startled animals, the physics of large equipment in motion and the inertia of items on those large pieces of equipment.”
Although he cannot recall any accidents, he said there have been some near misses.
“This is really more about prevention. But if we set expectations before the parade, hopefully people will be safer,” Phibbs said.
Below is a summary of the proposed parade rules:
• No distribution of materials or candy by float riders.
• No speeding or display of vehicle horsepower.
• Prohibition of foul language or inappropriate behavior.
• No consumption of alcohol by float riders, walkers or spectators.
• No one will be allowed on or off the floats once they are in motion.
• All horse entries must be people and crowd experienced and safe.
• No discharging of firearms, similar types of noisemakers or fireworks are allowed.
• All entrees must make all reasonable efforts keep the parade line-of-march tight, avoiding gaps if at all possible.
• Floats should be constructed so the view of the driver is not obstructed, there are grab bars and handles for the riders, they are structurally sound so there is no risk of collapse and the fire danger and carbon monoxide hazard is minimized.
• No open flames are permitted on parade entries.
• Float riders shall not hang over the edge or dangle their legs over the edge of floats near any wheels or other moving vehicle parts at any time.
• Children under the age of 8 in all entries must be directly supervised by an adult at all times.