New legislation to control the sale and use of fireworks has passed, following a Scottish Parliament debate last month.
The Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill introduces a fireworks licensing system, with mandatory safety training, for people wishing to purchase and use fireworks.
The new legislation means that being in possession of a firework or other pyrotechnic in a public place, or at certain places or events, without reasonable excuse also becomes an offence. Additionally, it criminalises the supply of fireworks and pyrotechnics to under-18s.
Local authorities now have powers to designate firework control zones and apply restrictions on the supply and use of fireworks. Councils will be able to restrict the use of fireworks in these zones, although professionally organised or public displays may still be allowed.
The passing of the bill received strong backing from a collation of professional medical bodies, who described it as a “historic achievement” and “a major step forward for injury prevention in the community”.
In Stirling, a survey in November 2020 saw almost 1,000 responses from members of the public, with 89.2% of respondents saying that they would support a ban on fireworks only being permitted to properly regulated public displays.
Local MP Alyn Smith has welcomed tighter regulations around the sale and use of fireworks, following extensive public consultation. Smith said: “Fireworks are to be enjoyed, but responsibly – and we’ve seen far too many horrific injuries and accidents over the years to simply sit on our hands.
“Extensive stakeholder engagement has helped craft a law which will have real teeth and help keep our communities safe.
“I thank everyone who responded to my fireworks survey – you’ve helped push along policy debate and instigate real change.”
Speaking after the passing of the new Bill, Community Safety Minister Ash Regan said: “This ground-breaking new legislation will improve the lives of people right across Scotland.
“This is not a ban on fireworks. We still want people to enjoy them safely, for example attending organised displays.
“But this vitally important step will make firework use more predictable and safer. The Bill will ensure appropriate action can be taken over the dangerous or disruptive use of fireworks, as well as reducing the misuse of pyrotechnic devices such as flares.
“It also demonstrates our absolute commitment to further improve safety for communities across Scotland.”
Featured Image Credit: Your Stirling