Monday, June 2, 2008

Fireworks Ban?

Fenty, Graham Propose Ban on the Sale of Fireworks in the District

Here's the press release:

New Legislation Improves Enforcement Capabilities and Safety of ResidentsToday, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham joined DCFire & EMS Chief Dennis L. Rubin to announce proposed legislation that wouldeffectively ban the use and sale of all consumer fireworks in the Districtof Columbia, except those staged by professional pyrotechnics experts.

The Fireworks Neighborhood Safety Emergency Act of 2008 will help prevent the personal injury and property damage that traditionally stems from the use of fireworks by the general public. The legislation removes anyexceptions to the current ban and would allow multi-faceted enforcement thatincludes DC
Fire & EMS Department and the Metropolitan Police Department(MPD). "The time has come to once and for all extinguish these dangerous devices,"said Mayor Fenty. "This legislation will bring us in line with neighboringjurisdictions in recognizing that the safety of our residents must bepreserved."The proposed legislation expands the current district to allow direct MPDenforcement of the ban. Previously, only Fire and EMS were able to providedirect enforcement of the ban allowing MPD only secondary enforcementcapabilities. Complete fireworks bans are in effect in Montgomery andPrince George's counties as well as Baltimore, Md. "This injury saving, public safety measure has great clarity and it will help a lot of people," said Graham.Last year the Mayor's Citywide Call Center received more than 4,000 calls none 12-hour period during the July 4th holiday due to improper use offireworks in the District, the same number of calls usually made in a24-hour period. "Fireworks are not toys that can be treated casually," said Chief Rubin."It is essential that District residents leave any handling of thesecombustible devices to licensed experts."

I for one think the DC government micromanages too much of our lives, but then, I'm also up to all hours on the 4th of July as my neighbors shoot off fireworks until the wee hours of the morning, raining debris onto my roof and yard.

What do you think? Should DC Ban Fireworks? (Survey in the upper left)

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