Recently a picture was posted on FireFighterNation.com with an engine in a parade carrying a whole bunch of high school cheerleaders, riding on the hosebed and standing in the jump seat area. NONE of them were wearing seatbelts. The law in most states is very clear, you MUST wear a seat belt anytime in a moving vehicle. Parades are not exempted. Your actions speak louder than your words. This department has just showed a bunch of teenagers (the most at-risk group for auto accidents) and an entire community, that wearing seatbelts is not important. And I hope the department doesn't hide behind the smokescreen of "It was just in a parade." The people on parade floats in the Rose Parade are belted in. Why not make the right example and have the cheerleaders ride inside the engine, wearing seatbelts? Think about your actions.
Definatley agree with the wrong message being portrayed with such events. This, or similar events have been discussed on sites like Closecalls, etc.
I recall our annual holiday parade where the mayor wanted to ride in the bucket of the ladder truck and was denied by the chief. We can't preach a good example if we don't want to make it and sometimes that means saying...No.