Dutch Safety Board to investigate Netherlands tradition of fireworks over New Year's

amsterdam fireworks 2015
Fireworks light up the sky by the Scheepvaartmuseum and Nemo in Amsterdam. Jan. 1, 2016 (photo: IAmsterdam / Twitter)Fireworks light up the sky by the Scheepvaartmuseum and Nemo in Amsterdam. Jan. 1, 2016 (photo: IAmsterdam / Twitter)

The mayors of the four large Dutch cities asked the Dutch Safety Board to investigate safety during New Year's, paying particular attention to the use of fireworks, AD reports. "The precise investigation and approach have yet to be determined", a spokesperson for the Safety Board said to the newspaper. "This will become clear within weeks."

The Dutch Safety Board is an authoritative body that investigates major disasters and large social security issues. For example, it did an investigation into the MH17 disaster. The board decides for itself what to investigate, but others can submit investigation requests. Which is what the mayors of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague did.

The mayors want the board to give advice on better policies around New Year's, on possibly expanding fireworks free zones and on how to better manage and prevent the lighting of illegal fireworks. The increase in violence against aid workers should also be part of the investigation, according to the newspaper. 

The past few years have seen an increase in support for restricting the use of consumer fireworks, though it is still only a minority who support this, according to NU.nl. Last year a petition with a call to ban the lighting of consumer fireworks was signed by almost 700 organizations. These were mainly doctors' and nurses' organizations, who deal with the consequences of accidents with fireworks, and organizations working with the welfare of children and animals.

A number of political parties also support the call to ban consumers fireworks, including GroenLinks, PvdD, 50Plus and SGP and local factions of the PvdA and D66. The supporters call for large municipal fireworks shows, instead of consumers lighting their own.


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