From all-day festivals in Pioneer Valley to breathtaking firework displays on the Charles River, New Year’s Eve is an exciting and fun holiday in Massachusetts. Friends and family gather to mark the turning of the calendar in one of the most festive celebrations of the holiday season in the Commonwealth.
While communities come together to kick-start 2015, it’s important to stay safe while celebrating. The Highway Safety Division (HSD) and the Department of Fire Services (DFS) of Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) provide tips and resources to make sure you and your family safely ring in 2015.
Alcohol and Travel Safety
If you plan to drink alcohol on New Year’s Eve, do so responsibly. Any person who consumes alcohol should not drive a vehicle, without exception. Drunk driving is a crime, and it can have many negative consequences to the person driving under the influence, as well as others on the road. Here are some tips for traveling safely:
- Designate a driver if you, your friends, or your family will be consuming alcohol.
- If you are a designated driver, remain alert. Just because you are a responsible driver doesn’t mean others are following the rules.
- You may encounter wintry conditions on the road, so keep in mind some winter driving tips and safety measures to minimize the chances of an incident on the road.
- Prepare your car for night driving. Clean headlights, maintain a safe following distance, and if you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.
- Consider taking public transportation. Many cities plan to offer late-night services to ensure safe travel during the holiday.
Follow Firework Regulations
Using, selling, or possessing fireworks is illegal in Massachusetts. From 2004 to 2013, more than 800 major fire and explosion incidents occurred in the Commonwealth due to fireworks, according to DFS. State officials urge residents to obey the law and leave fireworks to professionals.
- Child Safety: DFS data show 60 percent of firework burns reported in the state during 2013 were sustained by children younger than 18 years of age. Parents should be vigilant around New Year’s Eve to make sure children are not using fireworks.
Safe Alternatives: Fire department officials across the Commonwealth can issue a fireworks license. Events supervised and approved by local fire departments are safe for the public.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Massachusetts is always memorable, and this year should be no different. With a variety of events across the state, there is something for everyone. Attend a local event with friends or family and follow these practical safety tips to make turning the calendar a memorable occasion for years to come.
How are you planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve? Comment below or tweet us at @MassGov.
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