SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus is working on plans which would allow local authorities to ban fireworks throughout the area they cover, rather than just bring in firework-free zones.
The plan would be an alternative to a nationwide ban on fireworks which doctors and campaigners have called for, the AD reported on Tuesday. The paper bases its claims on sources in The Hague.
Councils would not be required to bring in a ban, but would be able to use it to tackle the excesses of the New Year firework frenzy, the AD said.
Ministers are said to be divided about calls for a total ban on consumer fireworks and a plea by the Dutch safety board to stop the sale of firecrackers and rockets, which cause many of the injuries.
RTL reported last month that the government had agreed to ban the sale of small firecrackers, known as rotjes in Dutch, but that plan was quickly withdrawn after protests.
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 safety board said last year. (DutchNews)