Irresponsible firework use comparable to 'drink-driving', say MPs

A report has called for better regulation of fireworks

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The "inconsiderate and irresponsible" use of fireworks should be considered as socially unacceptable as drink-driving, according to a group of MPs.

In a new report, the House of Commons Petitions Committee has called for better regulation of the fireworks industry.

It calls for new legislation to empower local authorities to limit the number of firework displays in their area through a permit system, as well as a review of the decibel level limit of consumer fireworks.

The report also asks the government to review the packaging of consumer fireworks, which can be appealing to children.

And the group raised concerns over the detrimental impact of fireworks on animal welfare, as well as people with disabilities or health conditions such as PTSD or autism.

To combat this, they propose an annual, national awareness campaign on how fireworks can affect PTSD sufferers and other vulnerable groups.

The cross-party group insist they do not want a blanket ban on public firework sales, but maintained it could be "the only option" if the government fails to act on their recommendations.

"Our inquiry has shone a light on the troubling human impact of failing to regulate the fireworks industry effectively," Committee chair and Labour MP Helen Jones said in a statement.

"From affecting the mental health of veterans, to harming animal welfare, and even threatening the health of young children, the consequences are widespread."

The inquiry into fireworks was carried out by parliamentary committee after thousands of people signed several different petitions calling for tighter restrictions on the sale and use of fireworks.

The committee has submitted its report for consideration, with a response expected after the general election on December 12.

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