Friday 29 May 2020

New Year fireworks: ban on firecrackers must be nationwide, say councils

New Year fireworks in Amsterdam. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Efforts to reduce the problems caused by the New Year firework frenzy will only succeed if they are applied nationwide, according to the Dutch local authorities association VNG.

The VNG has written to home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren saying the idea of allowing local authorities to decide themselves whether or not to ban certain types of firework will not be effective, and would have a knock-on effect on neighbouring towns.

The four big cities in particular want a nationwide approach but, the VNG states, tougher rules will be useless unless there is enough capacity to police the ban.

Last year the Dutch safety board OVV said firecrackers and rockets should be banned during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in order to cut back on injuries and damage to property.

Some 500 people end up at accidents and emergency departments with serious injuries during the New Year’s Eve firework frenzy, making it the most dangerous time of the year in many places, the board said.

The government was due to publish its standpoint earlier this year but the date has been delayed several times. According to the Telegraaf, ministers have decided against a nationwide ban on firecrackers but are still discussing other measures.

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