City officials urge New Yorkers to leave fireworks to the professionals and to swap their cars for public transportation or cabs when drinking.
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July and the NYC Department of Health (DOH) just issued a last-minute warning to remind New Yorkers about the risks and dangers of fireworks which, as the department urges, should be handled by professionals.
According to city data, between 2016 and 2017, there were 55 firework-related emergency department visits, including two hospitalizations. Apparently, Brooklyn and Staten Island residents especially like to play with fire: More than 65 percent of firework-related hospital visits were among residents of these two boroughs. And, three-quarters of these visits were among men, the DOH emphasized. So gentlemen, handle your fireworks with care, or better, leave it to the professionals.
“While the Fourth of July holiday is a time of fun with family and friends, it’s important to know that fireworks can cause serious injuries,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “These injuries are preventable and we encourage parents to speak to their children about the dangers of playing with fireworks. The health department wants all New Yorkers to have an enjoyable, but most importantly safe holiday.”
New Yorkers should also consider leaving their cars at home if they want to enjoy a couple — or more — drinks. The city just announced yesterday that “the NYPD will be out in force for DWI enforcement around the five boroughs.”
NYC’s Department of Transportation (DOT) data shows that DWI-related traffic fatalities grow dramatically in the period between Memorial Day and Independence Day. In the six weeks between May 25, and July 6, the rate of fatal alcohol-involved crashes increases by 55 percent.
“Those who drink and drive will learn a hard lesson courtesy of the NYPD,” said de Blasio. “Take a cab, take a train and take the keys away from a friend who’s had too much to drink. You just may be saving lives.”
The mayor also announced the return of the “Know Your Limit” campaign, a street campaign educating New Yorkers about the dangers of drinking and driving. This week, at locations around the city, NYPD and DOT street teams will distribute information about DWI and invite New Yorkers to try a breathalyzer test if they have been drinking – and believe they are not above the legal limit for driving. In addition, the city will offer a number of promotional codes on evenings and nights through Sunday, July 8, to encourage folks to swap their cars for discounted cab, Lyft or Via rides. To redeem the discount, New Yorkers can simply visit any of the partner sites: gocurb.com/knowyourlimit; lyft.com/invite/knowyourlimit or ridewithvia.com/knowyourlimit.
Brooklyn Councilmember Antonio Reynoso fully supports the move.
“I have a simple message to my fellow New Yorkers: do not drink and drive,” said Reynoso. “There is simply no excuse for endangering the lives of your fellow New Yorkers by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. We have numerous transportation options in the city that do not require you to operate a vehicle – use them!”