Baltimore News Station Does Roller Coaster Segment

Friday, May 7, 2004 3:51 PM
Last night at 11, ABC2 News in Baltimore did a segment about the roller coasters in MD. In the past 2 years or something, the 11 roller coasters in MD have had 70 violations ranging from cracked brakes to whatever. At Trimper's rides in Ocean city, the Tidal Wave coaster has not had a violation for 1 year. Six Flags America had the majority of the 70 violations. The coaster with the most, surprisingly, was Roar, with 20. They explained that SROS will be down for a while, and they explained what happened in the Two: Face incident: One of the panels on the train failed, so it was shut down.

The web site http://www.insidebaltimore.com either did not post the article yet, or are not going to. So if the article pops up, I'll let you know.

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Friday, May 7, 2004 4:36 PM
"Amusement Parks - Are Your Kids Safe" is an annual event now at stations across the country. It is sweeps week and what can be more exciting for news than the potential catastrophe at an amusement park? (You know, they can only go to the Airline-well so often.)

Here in Florida the same thing happens with another sexy topic. "Would You Know What to Do If Your Car Ended Up In A Canal?" "Jack Smith, our investigative reporter will show you live tonight in this exclusive story." What they mean by exclusive is the first time it was shown on this station in May 2004 being reported by Jack Smith in a canal in a northern suburb of Miami.

So, we can expect at least two stations (sometimes within hours of each other) to take one of their reporters...through him/her in a car with a cameraman, push the car into a canal, said reporter calmly begins to drown, pulls out a little window hammer, swims to the surface alive and well. Usually, the camera will go back to the anchor who is relieved and throw adulations to the brave reporter...who miraculosly has his/her hair looking top notch again when the camera pans back.

Anybody who really believes journalism is still a nobel profession needs to wake up. It is about ratings and dollars...nothing more.

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Friday, May 7, 2004 4:44 PM
So if there was 70 violations total in MD and Six Flags America had 70 violations, is it safe to say that Six Flags America had all violations in MD?
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Friday, May 7, 2004 4:48 PM
Yes, that would be true if SFA has 70 violations - but it does not appear that way.

-Nate *** Edited 5/7/2004 8:49:30 PM UTC by coasterdude318***

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Friday, May 7, 2004 4:48 PM
No, I don't remember the exact number, but it was definately the majority. Remember SFA is the only park in MD with more than 2 coasters.
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Friday, May 7, 2004 5:03 PM
My bad, I read it wrong.
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Friday, May 7, 2004 5:05 PM

Anybody who really believes journalism is still a nobel profession needs to wake up. It is about ratings and dollars...nothing more.

I took a fantastic "history of journalism" class at Berkeley where the professor's central thesis was:

'twas always thus.

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Friday, May 7, 2004 6:07 PM

SixFlagsAmericaFan said:
Last night at 11, ABC2 News in Baltimore did a segment about the roller coasters in MD. In the past 2 years or something, the 11 roller coasters in MD have had 70 violations ranging from cracked brakes to whatever.

Well, by comparison, last year NJ had 1,498 safety violations through Labor Day, 2003 on ALL attractions, which was down from 2,268 safety violations through Labor Day, 2002. While the NJ numbers include all amusement park ride violations, it should still seem to support the fact that 70 some violations over 2 years for 11 coasters in Maryland isn't really that many by comparison...

(http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/104-09092003-155993.html <-that's the site I got my info from)

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Friday, May 7, 2004 6:42 PM
So maybe that explains why Roar has become rough as hell this year?although I did notice a little bit of new lumber has been added to some spots during the offseason.

I saw a brief report on fox5's 5pm newscast about the SFNE accident...all they said was that SFA's & SFDL's ride will remain shutdown this weekend & showed an ariel shot of the lift & the red train on the transfer track with the dummies in it.

As for the two face incident last year I think you meant to say was "one of the panels in the station failed" in reference to the two control panels used to operate the ride.

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Friday, May 7, 2004 7:48 PM
Coaster Lover-They also said that MD has very strict ride laws.

BATWING SFA FAN-I'm not sure what it was, but it was on the train, not the station.

They are also shortening the seatbelts on all 3 SROS's.

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Friday, May 7, 2004 8:31 PM
I have e-mailed the station and asked them to post the video on the website. I don't think they will but I fiqured it was worth a shot.
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Friday, May 7, 2004 8:37 PM
I did that also.
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Friday, May 7, 2004 10:00 PM
How major were the violations? Just because they had some violations does not mean that the ride is unsafe. A lot of the things that get written up in safety inspections, of any kind, are little nit-picking type things, things that need attention, but really do not effect the operation or the safety of the ride or the equipment. Did the news report say that there were major safety violations or minor or just violations? I wouldn't think that a cracked brake shoe would really be all that dangerous. I have seen cracked brake shoes on autos, and I see them all the time on railroad equipment where I work. They are quickly changed out, but there is really no safety concern and the equipment will still work fine with the cracked shoe. It sounds to me just like someone was looking for a story.
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Friday, May 7, 2004 11:18 PM
Well I don't feel safe knowing that there are worn or damaged brake parts on any of the rides & if they've been having those minor offenses costing them some violations then who knows what else may be wrong over there.
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Friday, May 7, 2004 11:52 PM
Remember that when the ride gets inspected at the beginning of the season, mistakes inspectors find wrong are counted as safety violations then too. Some of these things could just be things that they accidently overlooked when taking the ride out of hibernation, and that's why they have the inspectors check over the rides before they open them each summer...
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Saturday, May 8, 2004 11:21 PM
Usually you try to do very thorough inspection before state inspectors come. Not just for coasters, but for any business.

Of course as previously mentioned the violations could be major or minor. For example you could have 30 violations, because for a month someone put a check mark in a box where they should have initialed that they completed a safety inspection. Then you could have one violation that could cause a collision.

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Monday, May 10, 2004 2:17 PM
I received the following response from WMAR TV about my request that they post the story on their website:

"I have asked our computer guy to put the Rollercoaster story on our
website...I will send you another email when its up (it takes a few hours
apparently). You can also order a VHS copy of the story by calling TV News
Recordings at 410-329-6857. All you have to do is tell them you are looking
for the rollercoaster story that aired May 6th at 11pm...

Thanks for your interest!

Tisha

Tisha Thompson
Investigative Reporter
ABC 2 News WMAR-TV
6400 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212
410-372-2536 "

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Monday, May 10, 2004 2:53 PM

BATWING FAN SFA said:
Well I don't feel safe knowing that there are worn or damaged brake parts on any of the rides & if they've been having those minor offenses costing them some violations then who knows what else may be wrong over there.

Do you think that shut downs caused by kids jamming the air gates might be the major culprit?

As far as worn parts go, moving parts wear and tear, thats the rules of nature, we replace them when they need to be replaced, you do that with your cars tires, don't you? Or do you put new ones on every time you leave the house, just to feel safe?

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Monday, May 10, 2004 3:19 PM
I'd be willing to bet (speculation... GASP)that the majotity of these "violations" were such piddily things that they did not in any way affect the actual safety of the rides. If ride inspectors are anything like health dept inspectors, then I'm sure most of the violations were miniscule.

For example, the store I work at was given a health code violation when one of the sinks that was only used for washing dishes was draining too slowly. Seriously, will the speed at which dirty water leaves a sink in any way affect the safety of the food served in a deli?

As for the media grandstanding, we had a reporter do a story on cars getting hit by freight trains. It was the lamest segment ever. If someone is lame enough to get stuck on RR tracks, and dumb enough to stay in the car... well draw your own Darwinian conclusion.

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Monday, May 10, 2004 3:20 PM
Alright coasterguts, cool.

I hope what I remember is right.

Sam A. Marks-Its probably no the air gates, because you can reinforce that with something else. Its not as safe, but unless your pshyco, you won't pass through it when a train is rolling by.

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