The Indiana State Police is wishing everyone a safe Independence Day and reminding Hoosiers of Indiana fireworks law. Police say Indiana law states:
• Only individuals over the age of 18 may purchase fireworks.
• A person 18 years of age or older must be present when anyone younger than 18 is using or possessing fireworks.
• Fireworks may be used only on the user’s property, the property of someone who granted permission for fireworks to be discharged, or a place designated by the Indiana State Fire Marshal for the discharge of consumer fireworks.
• Fireworks may be discharged only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. any day except on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and New Years Eve when the times are 9:00 a.m. to midnight. It is important to check with local officials, as local ordinances may restrict the use of fireworks.
Police say a person who violates this law can be charged with a class “C” infraction. If a person recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally uses fireworks and the violation causes property damage, they can be charged with a class A misdemeanor. If there is bodily injury it is enhanced to a class “D” felony, and if there is death a class “C” felony.
All fireworks have the potential to be dangerous when used improperly. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has produced a video to remind everyone to put safety first. The video can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-education-centers/fireworks/.
In addition, Lt. Jeff Payne, commander of the Indiana State Police Indianapolis District, reminds motorists that extra troopers will be assigned to the downtown interstate systems on July 4th. Troopers will be patrolling interstate I-65 and I-70 to ensure that motorists do not stop on the emergency lanes to watch the downtown Indianapolis fireworks show. Indiana State Police say stopping on the interstate, for anything other than an emergency, is against the law and the violator could be issued a Class “C” infraction citation.
Stopping or parking a vehicle upon a highway; restrictions; exceptions
Sec. 1. (a) This section does not apply to a person who drives a vehicle that is disabled while on the paved, improved, or main traveled part of a highway in a manner and to the extent that it is impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the disabled vehicle on the highway.
(b) A person may not stop, park, or leave standing an attended or unattended vehicle upon the paved or main traveled part of a highway outside of a business or residence district, if it is practicable to stop, park, or leave the vehicle off the highway.
“We want to make the public aware that stopping on the interstate is very hazardous, even when you are experiencing a legitimate mechanical problem, stated Lt. Payne. Stopping to watch fireworks is not a legitimate reason and troopers will be moving violators.”