Just over a month after a child was injured during Pikeville High Schools’ homecoming parade, the Pikeville City Commission took action Nov. 25 to tighten regulations on parade participants.

During Pikeville High School’s annual Homecoming Parade in October, a 7-year-old boy was injured when he fell off the float on which he was riding and was run over by the wheels of the vehicle.

During the Nov. 25 Pikeville City Commission meeting, the commission voted unanimously on second reading to institute a new ordinance governing parades, which will be in effect for the city’s Christmas parade, set for Dec. 7.

Pikeville City Manager Philip Elswick said that prior to Nov. 25, the city’s ordinances governing parades was bare bones.

“You had to have a permit and you had to provide us with a certificate of insurance,” he said.

The accident, he said, prompted the city to take another look at its rules.

“Anytime you have an accident like that, you start looking at your policies and procedures,” he said. “We just found ours to be needing some attention or being inadequate.”

Some of the requirements which are now in place due to the change include:

• Motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, or other motorized vehicles not licensed for road use are deemed unacceptable unless otherwise approved by the City of Pikeville. All vehicles must have working head lights, brake lights, turn signals, reverse lights, horn, and windshield wipers. All vehicles must have properly functioning brakes. All floats and trailers must use safety chains and be properly secured with a legal hitch. All props on floats and trailers must be properly secured, braced or tied down to prevent movement. All CDL vehicles must be in compliance with all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act requirements.

• Drivers of all motorized vehicles must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driver’s license (CDL where required) and possess the proof of insurance and registration for the vehicle they are operating. The driver is legally responsible for the actions of persons on the parade vehicles.

• All parade vehicles licensed for a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) exceeding 10,000 pounds must be accompanied by a spotter on the ground at both of the front corners of the vehicle while traveling the parade route whose purpose it shall be to watch for pedestrians so close to the vehicle to present a danger or hazard to himself or others as well as any occupants of the parade vehicle.

• Persons shall remain on their float or other parade entry from the staging area to the end of the parade route, except in case of emergency. Parade participants may walk the parade route, but exiting the parade entry once the parade has begun is prohibited.  

• All riders 13 years old and younger must be sitting at all times during the parade.

• Parade vehicles with riders 13 years old and younger must have one adult for every 6 children with a minimum of two adults (excluding the required spotters).  At least one adult must be located on each side of the parade vehicle.

• All parade vehicles shall have a means to prevent vehicle occupants from falling from the parade vehicle, which includes secured safety rails (42 inches in height) on the outside of the parade vehicle. Barriers or ropes may be used.

Elswick said the change in ordinance will ensure the city can continue to host parades, as well as protect all involved.

“We went through that process and looked at what some other communities are doing and have done and felt like those rules were protective of the public and participants while still allowing parades to happen,” he said.

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