Thursday, July 2, 2015

Celebrate Safely on Independence Day

July 1, 2015
Food, family, friends, and fun are all part of an Independence Day celebration. As many people are pulling out the grill to celebrate, some are thinking about shooting fireworks or firearms into the air – Both are illegal in the city.
“Our wish is for all citizens to have a safe and happy holiday this Fourth of July and enjoy events around Richmond,” said Chief Alfred Durham of the Richmond Police Department. “We urge people to leave fireworks to the experts and remember that random gunfire is against the law.”
In 2014, Brendon’s Law (§ 18.2-56.1) was enacted to implement harsher penalties for reckless handling of a firearm, including celebratory gunfire, resulting in serious injury.
The Richmond Police Department would like to remind citizens of the following:
  • Randomly firing a weapon in the city is illegal.
  • Firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes and other fireworks that explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles are prohibited. 
  • Legal fireworks displays planned at Brown’s Island on Friday, July 3 and Dogwood Dell on Saturday, July 4. On Friday, legal parking is available for a fee at 5th and Byrd streets in the parking deck. Illegal parking will be strictly enforced.
  • Do not impede the flow of traffic to view fireworks if you are in a vehicle. Please pull over to a safe location.
Road Closures
The Lee Bridge on Belvidere Street will be closed to north- and southbound traffic to provide a viewing area for the VA Fireworks on the James show on the evening of Friday, July 3. Police ask citizens planning to view fireworks from the bridge to avoid parking on the Lee Bridge or within the Oregon Hill neighborhood.  Residential traffic only is permitted.
The Manchester Bridge will remain open as an alternate route for drivers.
No parking on either bridge.
Specific road closures are listed below.
5 P.M.   Laurel Street & Idlewood Avenue; Belvidere Street & Holly Street; Laurel Street & Holly Street; Pine Street & Holly Street; 900 block of Idlewood Avenue at South Cherry Street
7 P.M.   Belvidere Street and Spring Street
The Department plans to have a strong police presence this weekend to ensure safe celebrations. To report random gunfire or illegal fireworks, call the Richmond Police Department’s non-emergency number at 804-646-5100.