Friday, January 2, 2009

Rep. Takumi's Letter to the Editor on Fireworks

Enforcing the law is near impossible

It's that time of the year when many constituents express their frustration over the inability of police to do anything about irresponsible people setting off fireworks in total disregard of the law. Enforcement is near-impossible since the police must actually witness someone breaking the law.

Over the years, I have introduced bills to return the regulation of fireworks to the counties, where it rightfully belongs. After all, what may work on the Big Island may not work on O'ahu. Once again, I will be introducing legislation to ban fireworks in counties with a population of more than 500,000; however, the argument for an outright statewide ban becomes more compelling due to:

*A noticeable increase in the use of illegal fireworks, including aerials and highly explosive devices.
*A growing number of people who totally disregard the legal time period and set off fireworks at all hours.
*The desire of businesses to capitalize on the demand, allowing unlimited purchases.
*The increasing danger of storage and transit of illegal fireworks on the black market.
*The lack of supervision by adults, resulting in injuries and fires.

"Culture" is the main reason cited to keep this tradition alive. I don't know of any tradition that encourages the breaking of laws, depriving neighbors of their right to a safe and quiet community, and imposing great risks to pets and to those with health problems.

Rep. Roy Takumi District 36


Manawai said...

Doing away with fireworks when there is so little a problem with them and when the vast, vast majority of citizens love them is over-regulation at its worst. Your logic of banning fireworks must then carry through to liquor sales and to the driving vehicles, both of which present far more social problems and community risk than fireworks. When are you going to do that, Roy? Your logic stinks and your attempts to over protect us are unwelcome. Get a life, dude!

Anonymous said...

It's not the use of "general" fireworks that I am opposed; but, rather the use of large commercial aerials.

Anonymous said...

It is with much respect that I agree with Rep. Takumi; altho' I grew up with this "tradition" and loved it...Honolulu is too populated now. Even major cities in China have outlawed fireworks at Chinese New Years for safety and social reasons. I am so tired of hiding in movie theatres, wearing masks, and barricading myself in a "clean air" room so I don't end up with an asthma attack or respiratory infection EVERY NEW YEARS EVE! The bombs in the neighborhoods certainly add to this distasteful abomination of "tradition".

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the illegal fireworks, but too bad a few bad apples had to spoil it for the rest of us. After some thought on banning illegal fireworks, I concluded that if fireworks will be banned then smoking should also be banned. Tobacco products kill over 440,000 people each year in the United States. How many people die from fireworks? Get your priorities in order and do the right thing by banning smoking and fireworks together.

Anonymous said...

Rep. Roy Takumi,

Please provide me with insturctions on how to support you in this bill. Hat's off to you sir. What the people don't understand is that there is no way to escape from the smoke on New Years or 4th of July. Why should I have to ride to the top of the Pali. Hope it passes and the lawbreakers get sent to an Arizona prison. Along with all the politicians who never passed this bill in the past who have been paid off. Law abiding citizens will be pleased.

Anonymous said...

Provide several places like the Stadium, and park areas staffed with MedX and police for the sale and use of fireworks, and,Ban fireworks statewide in all other areas. Then enforcement will be easy.....NO fireworks except in those approved areas.

George Peabody Molokai
[yes, fireworks are bad here too! ]

Cina said...

I agree that fire works are dangerous and the people that buy them are aware of the risks. As for people that don't like the noise or smoke, try stayin in your home. Buy some ear plugs and face masks.. Of course some people don't obey by the time well have the police do their jobs and crack down on them people. It's funny how many laws they want to make and ban things BUT THEY CAN'T GET THE DAMN PROSTITUTES OFF OUR STREETS!!! IS IT EVEN LEGAL HERE??? Places like Wahiawa have them at late hours at night posted at the corner of the street located next to Mcdonalds and I have witnessed cops just drive pass!!!! lol Another one I love the homeless sleeping on private property in Wahiawa.. You get off the freeway you can see their tents posted. They barbecue there, drink who knows even take drugs there and people can't do anyting about that... Comment for the person that said it destroys our aina. "DO YOU THINK THE RAIL IS GOING TO EFFECT OUR AINA????? "

Anonymous said...

I dont know of any other subject that affects people's health like illegal fireworks. This needs to be the foremost topic of discussion at the state Legislature this year. That is why we need a very strict law to do away with them except for Chinese New Years and the beautiful fireworks shot off skyward by the professional who do it in a very safe manner and do not endanger people''s health.