Riverside City Council to Hold Special Meeting to Continue $1,000 Reward for Information Regarding Fireworks Violations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 28, 2018
Public Information Officer
Riverside City Council to Hold Special Meeting Monday to Continue $1,000 Reward for Information Regarding Fireworks Violations
City encourages residents to instead enjoy fireworks at Mount Rubidoux and La Sierra Park
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Riverside City Council will hold a special meeting on Monday (7/2) to re-authorize a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the apprehension of anyone using illegal fireworks resulting in injury or death to another person or the destruction of property.
The City Council approved this item Monday morning on a unanimous 7-0 vote. Additionally, the Fireworks Task Force was out in force over the weekend. On Saturday night, task force members wrote six administrative citations at $1,000 each and confiscated approximately 25 pounds of illegal fireworks. This effort will continue as, for the second consecutive year, Riverside cracks down on illegal fireworks. Be smart and enjoy a free fireworks show at Mount Rubidoux in downtown Riverside and at La Sierra park. Shows start at 9 p.m.
Fireworks are illegal within the city limits, and anyone found using illegal fireworks can be issued an administrative citation that carries a $1,000 fine. The City Council’s action will allow Riverside, for the second consecutive year, to improve enforcement by gathering additional information about where fireworks are being used.
“Illegal fireworks create an injury risk for residents and their guests, while also increasing the risk of fire and the potential danger for our firefighters,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “Riverside is strongly urging residents to stay away from illegal fireworks and have a safe Independence Day holiday.”
Free fireworks shows will again be available at Mount Rubidoux in downtown Riverside and at La Sierra Park, at 5215 La Sierra Avenue. The shows begin at 9 p.m.
The creation of the reward for information, the existing fireworks fine, and a commitment to increased enforcement last year is believed to have reduced the incidence of fireworks usage in the city and resulted in the issuance of 129 citations. Of those citations, the City has collected $65,000, and has referred other citations to a collection agency.
Illegal fireworks can cause serious injuries, and also create traffic and noise impacts in neighborhoods, scare pets and other animals, and create a stressful environment for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Illegal fireworks usage in the city definitely dropped last year as a result of our citywide efforts, especially those of our Police and Fire departments,” Mayor Pro Tem Chris MacArthur said. “I’m hopeful we can continue that trend, and I encourage everyone to attend the shows at Mount Rubidoux and La Sierra Park.”
The City has been disseminating anti-fireworks information since the first week of June on websites, billboards and through other means, including electronic parking meters. The Fire Department has placed 14 “Fireworks Are Illegal” signs throughout the city where fireworks were heavily used last year. City officials are monitoring websites where people may offer fireworks for sale. Anti-fireworks flyers and posters were sent home to the Riverside and Alvord unified school districts.
An informational video can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8sbx4wnmUk
An informational video in Spanish can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_nvnftWkJY
An episode of “Riverside Monthly” dealing with this topic, featuring Mayor Bailey and Fire Chief Michael Moore, can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_UQrbrWfa4
The non-emergency phone number for the Riverside Police Department is 951-354-2007. This is the best phone number to call to report fireworks activity.
The non-emergency phone number for the City’s call center is 951-826-5311 or 311.
The emergency number for imminent threats to life or property is 911.
Temporary “No Parking” zones will be set up on Redwood Drive and Indian Hill Road, near the Mount Rubidoux fireworks display, to ensure adequate traffic flow should emergency vehicles need to respond.
City officials have sent warning letters to everyone who received a citation last year and also have sent letters to addresses that were identified as fireworks sites last year by people who called the City’s 311 line. The Police and Fire departments need specific addresses in order to follow up on complaints. Calls to 311 can be made anonymously.