Call to ban personal fireworks over New Year's

The foundation for society and safety SMV wants to ban individuals lighting fireworks over New Year's. The use of New Year's fireworks must only take place within controlled events in professional fireworks shows, SMV director Ingrid de Jong said in the Telegraaf on Wednesday.

"With 482 fireworks accidents that had to be treated in the emergency room, 31 lost fingers, four (partially) amputated hands, 176 people with eye injuries, you can not talk about a pleasant evening", De Jong said to the newspaper. According to SMV, the damage to houses and cars caused by fireworks amounted to 15 million euros over the previous New Year's, and 344 people were caught committing crimes during the celebrations. "If you add 10,016 fireworks related incidents, then it's clear to us that it has to change", De Jong said. 

The foundation calls for New Year's celebrations at key points in cities and towns, and prohibiting consumers from lighting fireworks on their own.

The fireworks industry, on the other hand, thinks that small-scale fireworks displays is a tradition that should not be allowed to disappear. "It must not turn into a massive event with thousands of people, which involves very different dangers", a spokesperson for Pyrotechnics Netherlands said to NU.nl. According to the industry, illegal banging fireworks are the major problem that cause the most accidents. 

The Dutch Safety Board is currently investigating the use of fireworks over New Year's, according to NU.nl. Several municipalities already implemented fireworks free zones and organize central celebrations with a professional fireworks show. 

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