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Traffic Talk: Stay safe for Independence Day

Don Gammill: Bubba likes Independence Day, but … don't let him near the fireworks, especially around vehicles
By DON GAMMILL dgammill@opubco.com Published: July 1, 2013
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Independence Day is the favorite holiday of my friend Bubba, and he really likes to enjoy it. The bigger the celebration, the better.

He knows the importance of the date July 4. He can tell you all about the Declaration of Independence, including who signed it. He can name various major battles of the Revolutionary War, including where they were fought and what was the outcome.

What he can't tell you much about is fireworks safety. He doesn't have a strong understanding of anything the least bit explosive, or flammable. And if it involves moving vehicles, run away.

Several years ago, I wrote a column about July 4 safety and mentioned a guy having a pop bottle rocket war with a friend as they drove their cars down the road, firing at each other. One lit a rocket which tracked into the other's vehicle, lighting the seat.

Bubba.

I wrote about a boy riding in the back seat, trying to light a punk. An ash fell into a bag of firecrackers, starting a fire and setting off a series of explosions, which burned a nice hole in the upholstery.

Bubba.

I've told the story many times about a friend who liked to hold Roman candles as they fired, ball after ball. But more than once, he caused a grass fire when he dropped a hot candle and it fired into dry brush.

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