Friday, January 20, 2006

Staying Safe During Mardi Gras

The Mobile Police Department wants to share some safety precautions and other good to know facts for those heading down to Mardi Gras this year.

Streets in and around the parade route will begin closing approximately one hour prior to the start of each parade. Drivers must adhere to all designated “No Parking” areas as well as other specially marked Mardi Gras “No Parking” zones marked with green and gold signs. All vehicles parked in these areas will be towed to Smith’s Towing, located at 2400 Michigan Avenue; (251)-662-8304. The fee for this towing will be $75.00 and must be paid to the wrecker company before any vehicle can be released to the owner.

R.V. parking on the medians along Claiborne and Canal Streets will still be prohibited this Mardi Gras. However, R.V. parking will be allowed beneath I-10 at Canal and Water Streets for a fee (approximately 150 spaces available). “No R.V. Parking” signs have already been posted in the downtown area and will be strictly enforced. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding R.V. parking can contact Ike Jimenez at (251) 476-7038 or 583-2350.

Following is a list of precautions that should be kept in mind while attending the parades downtown during Mardi Gras:

• Attend parades with family or friends
• A City Ordinance strictly forbids glass containers in public
• Do not follow floats. Violators may be arrested
• Do not throw any object in the direction of floats, band members, or parade participants. Violators may be arrested
• Materials known as “Silly String” and “Snap & Pops”, along with similar products are illegal. Possession of any these products may result in arrest
• If you need police assistance during a parade, go to the nearest intersection and advise a uniformed police officer
• Lost children will be taken to the Mobile Police Department Central Events Mini Precinct located at 320 Dauphin Street (208-6306). Place an index card in your childs pocket indicating their name, address, telephone number and a relatives name
• Please cooperate with all requests from police officers
• Choose a well-lit area for night parade viewing
• Establish a pre-designated meeting place for after the parade in case you get separated from friends or family
• Park vehicles in secure areas and do not leave valuables in plain sight. Utilize the trunk to store valuables
• The Mobile Police Department will enforce a “no weapons” policy. Persons found in possession of weapons will be arrested. Pistol permits do not allow possession of firearms at parades
• Uniformed and plainclothes officers will be patrolling behind the crowds to identify and arrest persons engaging in criminal activity
• Do not cross the barricades. Each officer will be carrying a ticket book and will be issuing citations to those people who disobey the law by crossing the barricades. The fine for crossing the barricades is $152.00
• Pets on leashes are prohibited during the parades downtown
• Skateboards and motorized scooters are prohibited.

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