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Amsterdam bans fireworks...but not quite


New Year's Eve fireworks is a Dutch tradition, but Amsterdam, like some other Dutch cities would like to limit it to the professionals to avoid injuries, burnt-out cars and deaths.

A ban on personal fireworks will be in effect for Amsterdam this year, but apparently no one actually expects to see an end to personal spectaculars, since there is no ban on buying fireworks from licensed sellers. The mayor told city councilors that her goal is to phase out the practice by offering alternatives including more official displays, including some with big-name entertainment.

She added that "the first year of the local firework ban should be seen as a year of transition." Research done by the city indicates that 77% of Amsterdamers feel it's important to reduce the 'nuisance' of the fireworks and that 89% have never used personal pyrotechnics.

A ban last year, because of the pandemic, was only partly effective; police reported a 70% drop in fireworks injuries and 30% fewer emergency calls, but several hundred people were injured and dozens of vehicles burned out.

Bans are already in effect in Rotterdam and Nijmegen, and are being considered in a number of others, while some cities are focused on setting aside firework-free zones.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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