Nijmegen to ban all consumer fireworks over New Year's
Nijmengen has joined Rotterdam and Amsterdam in completely banning consumer fireworks during the New Year celebrations. On Wednesday evening, the Nijmegen city council approved a motion by GroenLinks and animal party PvdD to ban the lighting of fireworks in the city, Omroep Gelderland reports.
Those who supported the motion referred to the many problems caused by fireworks over New Year's, including fireworks related injures and violence against first responders and other aid workers. These problems are becoming irresponsibly big, and because the national government is failing to take measures, things must be arranged locally, the signatories of the motion said.
Not everyone supported the ban. VVD city councilor Nick de Graaf called it a sad evening, because an end is made to a tradition that many people enjoy just because GroenLinks and PvdD don't like it. "Where does it end?" he said to the council. "Today we ban fireworks, later on terrace heaters and then the car." Stadspartij DNF councilor Jean Paul Broeren also called on the parties not to take the fun of fireworks away from Nijmigen residents. He wondered what specific problems there are in Nijmegen that justify making this local policy.
Nijmegen mayor Hubert Bruls is pleased that the city council approved a total ban, instead of designating certain firework-free zones as it did this past New Year's. "Because tat did not do much," he said to the broadcaster. A total ban on lighting fireworks is more enforceable, according to the mayor.
Every New Year's fireworks are at the heart of a large number of incidents in the Netherlands, and this year was no different. A father and his 4-year-old son were killed in a fire started by fireworks in an apartment building in Arnhem. The mother and 8-year-old daughter were critically injured. Dutch ophthalmic society NOG reported that 168 eye injuries were treated b ophthalmologists. A total of 1,300 fireworks injuries were treated by emergency rooms and GP posts. Firefighters responded to over 4,300 reported fires. And there were multiple attacks on first responders.