Officials urge saftey on Fourth

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Independence Day is this upcoming Monday and before revelers break out the fireworks, officials says it’s important to know the laws.

In an effort to encourage public safety during fourth of July celebrations, the Troy Police Department is reminding all those who live in Troy that it is illegal to buy, sell or discharge fireworks within Troy City limits.

“TPD officers will be out patrolling throughout the city and helping people have a safe holiday,” Chief Anthony Everage said. “We are going to be emphasizing traffic safety and fireworks safety.”

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Don’t worry, there will still be a wonderful fireworks display to make this Independence Day memorable.

At 8:45 p.m. Monday, the Troy Parks and Recreation Department will host its annual fireworks show at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Dan Smith, director of Troy Parks and Recreation, said the show is still the best fireworks display around.

“I know everybody enjoys fireworks and loves to see great fireworks, and the city of Troy fireworks show, every year, is always a great show,” Smith said. “The show will last about 20 minutes and we have thousands of people that come from all over, not only the city and the county, but we have other visitors from outside of Troy that come into the community for this show.”

Smith said there are many great viewing locations for the show even outside of the stadium.

“We have a small introduction down on the field of the football stadium, then the fireworks will be shot from the campus of Charles Henderson High School,” Smith said. “The stadium is one viewing location, but people can park and view the fireworks show anywhere around the area.”

Some counties may worry about the dry conditions that prompted Gov. Robert Bentley to declare a drought, effectively banning campfires, bonfires and burning debris, but the recent rainfall in and around the Pike County area led officials to give the city the “go ahead” for Monday night’s “The drought has been a concern of mine,” Smith said. “The state fire marshal, the local fire chief and I have been in constant communication and it is their opinion that we have received enough significant rain in that area of Troy that it is green and lush right now. We visited the location and it was very green and not dry at all, so we feel very good about the wetness of that area right now.”

Sgt. Benny Scarbrough of th Troy Police said although fireworks may be banned within city limits, outside the city they are OK.

Scarbrough said he encourages extreme caution when using fireworks.

“If a person lives outside the city limits and discharges fireworks, they should make sure it is legal in their geographical area,” Scarbrough said. “They should always use extra caution when discharging fireworks and be aware of the dangers of fireworks. Serious injuries and damage to property can result from someone not following proper safety precautions while handling fireworks.”

Everage said there are additional concerns people need to be aware of in Troy during the holiday weekend.

“There will be an increase in traffic during the holiday weekend in and around Troy,” Everage said. “People need to be aware there is a greater chance a person may be involved in a motor vehicle accident during this time.”

Everage said the TPD encourages drivers to be aware of other drivers and to drive defensively.

“TPD officers will be looking for drivers violating traffic laws, especially those involving alcohol,” Everage said. “We urge all motorists to obey traffic laws and to be mindful of the increased traffic on the streets and roads in Troy.”

Everage said motorists need to be sure to give themselves plenty of time to arrive at their destinations, make sure to wear seat belts at all times while traveling and make sure children are in a proper child restraint.