Police cracking down on fireworks in Slovenia

In Slovenia there are likely to be fireworks between police and youths this holiday season. The problem is that people start their New Year Celebrations early, letting off fireworks and causing a public nuisance along with injuries. Police are planning a crackdown.

The fireworks have already started cracking around Slovenia, even though New Year’s Eve is still weeks away. After recent data revealed that most accidents occur in the eastern Slovenian city of Maribor, the deputy mayor, police and safety officials there announced a new campaign against premature celebrating. And even more importantly: an attempt to try to reduce the number of injuries.

One of the organizers: “We would prefer if there would be no cracking at all, but some people won’t resist the temptation. We advise them to do so the presence of others – so parents or legal guardians. And that they should follow all the appropriate rules.”

The rules proscribe that fireworks should never be lit near residential areas, buildings and closed rooms, near hospitals, in public vehicles and all other areas intended for public meetings.

The target group of the campaign (called “Holidays without Firecrackers”) are children in Maribor’s primary and high school. According to officials, more than 20,000 pamphlets will be distributed, together with 1,000 posters. Forty-second television ads have also been prepared.

Officials were especially concerned about the booming black-market trade in fireworks. Technically, firework sales are officially allowed from the 19th to the 31st of December. And, at least theoretically, they shouldn’t be lit until after Christmas. Their use is limited from the 26th of December to the 2nd of January.

Children under 15 are also prohibited from buying fireworks.

However, the black market has shown itself more than willing to provide fireworks to anyone who wants them, which means that explosions echo through the city from early December until the New Year.