Durham, NC -- In just four days, 2012 is here. There's all kinds of traditions surrounding the New Year's Holiday. Most are just fun, but one can be deadly and one city is putting up billboards to warn you about it.
Fifth graders in Durham are urging residents not to shoot guns into the air as part of the New Year's Celebration. They created a billboard, "Have fun but don't shoot a gun." On the To-Do list is: throw confetti, light sparklers, go dancing, and throw a party.
In Winston-Salem, Police say celebratory gunshots are a problem on New Year's Eve as well. Firing a gun in the city is illegal. If a bullet is traced back to the firearm, the owner can be criminally charged.
It's also dangerous. Officer Charles McCoy of the Winston-Salem Police Department says, "It happens every year, the same thing. You think I'm not shooting at anything but what you fire up in the air is going to come down and it's got to strike something."
WSPD tell News 2 that over the years, stray bullets have ended up in everything from cars to houses, often breaking through windows.
Typically, reports come in on New Year's Day of bullets and bullet holes. The reports reflect the high number of shots fired calls from the night before.
Shooting a gun into the air means a bullet will fall back to earth at speeds that could reach up to 700 feet per second.
The Crime Analysis Unit at the Winston-Salem Police Department received twenty shots fired calls on New Year's Eve last year.
WFMY News 2, Winston-Salem Police Department, Durham Police Department