Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2003 4:45 AM | Contributed by redman822
"Journalist" Dick Johnson of WMAQ/Chicago says that, despite medical research, roller coasters are potentially dangerous. His "report" is the usual paranoia nonsense we've seen for the last three years, though now we have the actual research indicating the rides' safety.
Read more from WMAQ/Chicago via MSNBC.
The Empire will Strike Back....
"What do I know, I only work in an Amusement Park?"
"You are paying to get in. Period."
This is a "sexy" story, newsworthy or not. There is great video to go along with these stories. It is the same thing as what happens to airlines. Months, even years go by without an airline accident (there were no US commercial airline accidents that resulted in death in the year 2002) but when one occurs then all the pundits come out about poor maintenance, training, etc. Even with the billions of airline miles flown annually.
Funniest thing is this reporter alludes to the fact that amusement parks want to silence the critics because it hurts business. This reporter fails to mention that the only reason he pursued the story was to help business (ie viewers and advertising dollars).
anyways, i don't think that story is too anti-coaster, but one of the tips?!?! avoid coasters without headrests and padding?!?
Nemesis: Inferno 
Anyway, I think it is time for the arguments to be re-focused again. The research is out: the G-forces on the rides are not dangerous. Period. End of story. Forget about the @#$! G-forces, they are a non-issue, and concerned individuals who are truly concerned about ride safety should stop bringing them up because every hour spent arguing over G-forces is an hour NOT spent dealing with the very real issues with amusement rides that cause people to get hurt.
Because while there are at least two high-profile studies that indicate that the G-forces exerted by roller coasters are safe, including a study commissioned by a critic who expected the study to prove otherwise, people are still getting hurt on rides. My conclusion, therefore, is that when people get hurt on rides, the G-forces are not the cause of the injury. That means there are other things happening that are getting people hurt, and those issues are the ones we should be studying right now.
Oh, Johnson, whether a ride inspector can talk to the media or not depends on who that inspector works for. A quick look at the NAARSO Code of Ethics indicates nothing at the association level apart from a call to "issue public statements in an objective and truthful manner". Some inspectors may be bound by legal requirements or similar restrictions at the employer level, though.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Classically trained to rock your socks off.
"If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullcrap."
People know how 'dangerous' a ride is, they just choose to ride it. It's not like a park is saying, "Hey! Come ride our rides! they are 100% safe! Nothing bad can EVER happen to you!".
The point is, things do happen. The public is well aware but still chooses to go on. Think of sky diving. Yeah, some people have been lost because of parachute malfunctions, but there are increasing numbers of people joining the sport with no hesitation. In fact, a majority of coaster-related accidents are on the fault of the riders, not the operator or the ride itself.
You have to look at the WHOLE picture before coming to any conclusions. Stories like these are nothing but attention grabbers for the front page of a Sunday's Paper. Really bad journalism in my opinion.
Nemesis: Inferno 
The average rider would probably be shocked to learn that he is many times more likely to be killed on his drive to the park than he is in a ride accident.
The article varies from gross exagerations to outright lies. These guys must borrow their fact checkers from the New York Times or the Iraqui Ministry Of Information.
They imply that there are no design standards. I guess that they have never heard of the ASTM F24 committee. They state that all new coasters push limits on height and speed. How patently false can you get?
Final Deja Vu Count for the 2002 Season: 52
Superman: Ultimate Flight Count (SFGAm) = 42
"avoid coasters that don't have headrests"
Has anyone here ever put their head against the headrest on a woodie? I don't think so. This is so stupid!!!! Somebody hold me back!!!!
I am not going back to Cedar Point until they throw Mean Streak's brakes into lake Erie. There should be a law against killing coasters like Cedar Fair does.
I really don't understand how they can think coasters are unsafe. It's not like people build coasters saying, "You know, Bob, I think we'll try something different this time. Forget safety. Forget putting the guest first. Let's see how many people we can harm!"
I was asked to describe X in one word. The word? -- OhmygoshwhathaveIgottenmyselfintothisisthescariest
Intelligence is a God given gift: Know how to use it.
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