Are Fireworks On Your Summer Activities List?
Along with picnics and reunions with friends and family, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and New Year’s Eve are just a few of the annual observations in which fireworks play a role, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Pennsylvanians aged 18 and above may now purchase consumer firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, and other explosives with a maximum of 50 mg of explosive material along with the previously legal sparklers, fountains, and novelties.
Legal use of consumer fireworks in PA carries specific prohibitions (Section 2404). The following are illegal:
- Igniting or discharging fireworks on a public or private property without express permission of the property owner;
- Discharging within 150 feet of an occupied structure;
- Discharging from, within, or toward a motor vehicle or building, and
- Discharging while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or another drug.
Violating the various provisions of the consumer and display fireworks law (Act 43 of 2017, Section 2414) can result in fines and penalties ranging from $100 for a summary offense to a misdemeanor of the second degree to a felony of the third degree.
Identifying and Removing Poison Hemlock
Roadsides, fence rows, and the forest’s edge are increasingly lined with a deceivingly lovely but deadly white flower, frequently mistaken for the harmless wild carrot, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).
Invasive Poison Hemlock develops small white flowers forming an umbrella shape and growing from hollow, purple-spotted stems possible of reaching six to eight feet in height. Upon identification, DCNR recommends removal of the entire root. Mowing or cutting prior to flowering is effective in preventing the spread of over 30,000 seeds produced by each poison hemlock plant. New growth should be treated with herbicides.
Poison Hemlock is ranked as a severe threat to Pennsylvania’s native plants. Because it is fatal for humans, pets, and livestock, anyone engaged in removal should wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, socks, and shoes to prevent direct contact with the plant and the pesticide.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown
Upon encountering a flooded roadway while driving, motorists are reminded of Act 114 of 2012 making it illegal to ignore flood warning signs to Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Know these flood facts for driving:
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing a loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport utility vehicles and pickups.
While driving, remain informed of weather conditions and respond accordingly to any flash flood watch or warning. Travel information is available through 511PA. The mobile app is available for Android or iPhone.
Senior Centers Offer Relief from Soaring Summer Temperatures
Pennsylvania’s Senior Community Centers provide a nutritious meal, social activities, informative programs, creative arts, exercise, volunteer opportunities, community services, and special events in a safe comfortable atmosphere.
Rural Road Safety Precautions
From spring planting season through the autumn harvest, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) urges drivers to be prepared to encounter farm equipment and animal-drawn vehicles on Pennsylvania roadways.
While cruising at 55 miles per hour and coming upon a tractor moving at 15 miles per hour, in only five seconds, an automobile will cover the length of a football field (see pages 22-23). Driving farm equipment requires safely staying on the roadway and watching for oncoming traffic while on a noisy piece of equipment.
The Horse and Buggy Driver’s Manual provides critical safety information to motorists and tourists unfamiliar with horse and buggy encounters, as well as the buggy operator. “It’s a Matter of Life and Death” offers valuable tips in a condensed format.
Hunting License Reminder
Pennsylvania’s 2018-19 resident hunting license is now available for $20.90, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). Pennsylvania residents ages 17 to 64 receive one antlered deer tag, one fall turkey tag, one spring turkey tag, and small game hunting privileges for one year with the resident hunting license.
More than 65 types of hunting licenses and permits are available to resident and nonresident hunters. The 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Digest may be purchased for $6 or downloaded and printed for free.