Four more local authority areas have joined the New Year fireworks ban, taking the total to 16 out of 342, RTL Nieuws said on Monday.
Tilburg, Arnhem, Amersfoort and Eindhoven are implementing a total ban for this year’s festivities while Ede, Zwolle and Zutphen say they may do so from 2024.
Many councils argue that a total ban is impossible to police, partly because legally they cannot restrict firework sales. And Hoorn town council in Noord Holland, told the broadcaster that policing is tricky because “you have to catch the culprits in the act.”
The Dutch local authorities association VNG has called for a national strategy on fireworks and fireworks sales, but there is no majority in favour of a nationwide ban in parliament.
Last year the bans were widely ignored and just a handful of fines were handed out. In Amsterdam, where traditional firework frenzy continued unabated, no fines at all were given to people who broke the ban.
Other towns and cities have introduced firework free zones, close to shopping centres, petting zoos and nursing homes. Some 40 local authorities have introduced firework-free areas, including The Hague.
Officially, Chinese firecrackers and rockets have been banned nationwide since 2020, as the government gradually restricted the availability of fireworks likely to cause damage and injury. Fireworks which are sanctioned may only be set off between 6 pm on December 31 and 2am on January 1.
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