Debate over federal regulation continues in Washington

Posted Monday, June 18, 2001 4:41 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The debate continues over whether or not the feds should be involved with regulating the safety practices of the industry. On one hand, the same old tired arguments from the politicians and the Consumer Products Safety Commission, on the other hand, the industry who says that such regulation wouldn't actually help anything.

Read the latest drama from The Washington Post.

Monday, June 18, 2001 5:17 AM
Boys and girls, write your local congressman.

Monday, June 18, 2001 5:43 AM
Who's the congressman for Ohio? Who else had a feeling that just by reading the title, they would bring up the Goliath accident? Bet Markey's jumping with pleasure (or gas) at this happening. I agree with Ravengguy, let's write. 3000+ members of coasterbuzz.....

Rollercoasters are the secret of life!
Monday, June 18, 2001 5:50 AM
Kathy Fackler, whose son David, now 8, lost half of his foot in 1998 when he tried to exit a Disneyland ride before it stopped, has another explanation for why an industry that prides itself on safety would resist federal regulation.
Well, uhm, is David supposed to exit the ride before it stopped? Nope.
Disneyland spokesman Ray Gomez blamed computer-coding errors for the mix-up and said the company is searching its records for further incidents.
Interesting... but is the park really accountable for the accident? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps they could have hired a better programmer, or was that the manufacturer's fault? Hmm..
"Each one of these rides is walked and looked at nail by nail, every day," Speigel said. "We don't feel, frankly, that another level of federal regulation would help one bit. In fact, we feel it would be cumbersome."
Exactly! Hell, like the article stated previously: Some fear federal regulation would be costly to implement and might use less-qualified inspectors than those the parks employ. Hmm, I say the next election in Massachusetts, peeps shouldn't vote for Markey! :)

Monday, June 18, 2001 6:46 AM
Boy, as I read that article, it sounded more and more like it was on the side of Markey and his hooligans. I do agree, however, about the possibility (I DID SAY POSSIBILITY) of park guests being admitted to emergency rooms with a number in the thousands, but the artcile also does not say what those thousands of people are admitted for. I almost can guarantee you that most things are guest caused (i.e. stupidity by the guests), or something else related such as heat exhaustion, bee stings, burns (yes, the food is HOT), etc., etc. While these accidents may have happened at the park, most likely it is something stupid, careless, and just plain immature that a guest does.

Thank you,

David Toelle
Cedar Point Employee 1997-2000
Monday, June 18, 2001 7:11 AM
I do believe all park's should report ALL accidents at park's. I would think parks's would want to show that most injury's according to everyone here is caused by rider error or just a skinned knee type injury, why not disclose all injurys or is there something that they are hidding IE disney with 300 injurys on indiana jones ride it took someone going to court to MAKE disney give up there records. As for the 8yr old boy that was mentioned above I do believe the park is partly responsible for that why make a ride that an 8yr old can easly get out off. I dont however want the gov to be in charge of regulating the G's on a coaster, that should be up to manufacturer who is responisble for ride anyway.
As for all of us contacting our congress man remember this we are only around 20% of the nation there is a ton of people who dont visit park's and have no desire to go to park's. I read an article that polled over a 1000 people of those only 17% are going to a park this summer, we will have to fight an up hill climb to even defeat this bill if it comes up for a vote. If anymore deaths happen this year like the weed eater guy who was killed because of someone not doing there job you can expect to see this pass.
Army rangers lead the way
*** This post was edited by supermandl on 6/18/2001. ***
Monday, June 18, 2001 8:10 AM
ok, here goes. and I quote Korn, "WAKE THE **** UP!" sorry for that, but I can't stand people who use stupidity in debates instead of facts. sure thousands of people could be admitted to the er each year, but why are they there?

its a real shame that two, count 'em two, people were injured by roller coasters in medical studies, but where are the rest of the test subjects? don't tell me that scientists simply looked at two people and made a conclusion right there and then. to correctly do an experiment on the effects of roller coasters you'd need hundreds of people on a plethora of coasters. now where did the other thousand or so people go? oh, that's right. you just decided to ignore them because they didn't give you the results you wanted. bad healthy people, bad! here ya go injured idiots, have a law suit.

as for the kid who got his foot chopped off, if I were his parent I'd hit him upside the head and say, "that'll teach you to not listen to the ride ops." its not the park's or the manufacture's fault if a handful of riders decide to not follow the rules placed before them for their safety. if there should be any laws regulating anything it should be laws limiting acts of stupidity to once a week inside a foam padded room.

while I feel that there should be some sort of safety regulation (namely that used by the majority of parks already), I don't feel that the type of legislation that Markey wants is right. and I feel that complete morons shouldn't be used to pass that legislation. here's what needs to be regulated: the redundant safety systems, the care of rides, and the reporting of injured. now correct me if I'm wrong, but representatives are supposed to "represent" the people of the state from which he/she was elected. that they are supposed to protect the common man. now if that's right then Markey should be listening to the people of Mass. and conveying thier message to the federal government. he should also be protecting the people of Mass. hey Markey, the people don't need protection from roller coasters. they need protection form you!

ugg! I'm going back to bed. it was so much more peaceful there.

this park is not copless so please don't go topless
Monday, June 18, 2001 9:04 AM
On that map that says that nine states don't require inspections on fixed rides, is totally wrong. It should be that have fixed rides. Montana, North and South Dakota don't ven have any amusement parks in them.

Also I have been to CP about 5 times and the only seen the CP emergency vehicle twice and I heard that both of them were bee stings. I feel that most injuries are very minor. Most of the 7,000 some injuries that went to the ER were probably from smaller parks with older rides.

I think there should be some regulations on inspecting the rides. People like to have fun thats why the go to the parks. So, why doesn't the government give the parks money to hire more ride inspectors and money to let the smaller parks to fix up the rides.
Monday, June 18, 2001 9:31 AM
Mississippi doesnt have a park or a coaster in it either *source CoasterBuzz coaster database* I was also looking at the little graphic on the Washington Post's website about the states and injury numbers and such. It said ESTIMATED AMUSEMENT RIDE-RELATED FATALITIES! How do you estimate that? Either there was this number, or there wasn't. Maybe it was just bad wording, but still. You can't estimate fatality numbers like that. Come on people! I was reading some of the stuff on What crap! I wont delve into that any more, but still it is a little on the ridiculous side some of the stuff they say there.
Monday, June 18, 2001 10:10 AM
The problem with the federal government is that they will hire investigators to police the amusement park business, in turn it will cost the parks a set fee each year. In turn that expense will be passed on to the patron that pays to enjoy these parks. I belive that local states should have some type of uniform regulations that police the independent parks. These parks are generally small parks that don't have the money to hire a safety inspector to police their rides. I think the major park chains do a excellent job in keeping their parks safe. Most accidents are caused by the fault of the public, not the malfunction of a ride.
Monday, June 18, 2001 10:41 AM
Ever since "President" Bush took office I think the governmnet has taken a "Millennium Force" drop with everything that is bad. Most accidents on a coaster are mostly the riders fault and the government gets all b***tch-e with the rides, same with that mother's son who got stuck on the loop of Demon at SFGAmerica in 1998.

Congratulations Ray Bourque!!

Colorado Avalanche: 2001 Stanley Cup Champions! *** This post was edited by StealthmF5m3 on 6/18/2001. ***
Monday, June 18, 2001 11:35 AM

mostly its idiots showing off. Look girls i cand stand up on the big dipper9Zoommmm goes flying into tree. or parents not wacthing kids. how do u let ur kid get out when the ride isnt even older. GOD these people scare me more than x, i hope i never seat by one of them uase i would luagh so much when the get hurt.
the return of Intaminrocks
Monday, June 18, 2001 11:37 AM
look at those states they highl;ighted do they even have coaster, of which how many are een over 100 ft.
Excluding missouri

the return of Intaminrocks *** This post was edited by FenderStartocaster on 6/18/2001. ***
Monday, June 18, 2001 11:40 AM
Great Markey had to be a democrat cant he be an independent or republican, i mean he makes all democrats look bad. some one should make ride goliath untill he dies. heheheh or strap him on to a 747 and crash it nose first into a bees nest, or or....

the return of Intaminrocks
Monday, June 18, 2001 11:44 AM
So typical of the government. Millions of people a year die from lung cancer, drinking and driving, car accidents etc. Instead of focusing on incidents that are killing millions, they choose to focus on a handful of deaths and injuries. The amusement industry has an amazing record. If it is so unsafe with its few incidents, I'd hate to see what the government will do to the automobile industry with all its deaths. We'll all be forced to ride bicycles to work like in China!
Monday, June 18, 2001 11:47 AM
There is a major problem that I have regarding all of the sensationalism placed on coaster/amusement ride accidents. Boxers get pounded in the head repeatedly, and no one thinks twice about it. Nascar drivers drive at speeds far greater than any coaster yet no one really talks about the effects it causes on the body. Fighter pilots fly at high speed, perform outlandish aerial manuevers and feel sustained g-forces and no one tries to regulate how fast they fly. Commercial jetliners crash, yet millions of people keep on flying everyday. They call it an "unfortunate accident", and then hop on the next flight out of town. Automobiles cause millions of injuries and deaths worldwide, yet people keep driving. Now a coaster is possibly linked to someone being injured once or twice out of millions of circuits per season and people cry "they're too unsafe!" or "It's not safe to ride a coaster, I won't get on one." This is what makes me steaming mad. No one talks about how many riders coasters safely service per year. They only focus on one or two injuries, and all of the sudden that's the stigma given to the entire industry. It's unsafe. The effects on the body are too great. Come on. How many doctors have said that healthy people shouldn't have any problems riding coasters? It's clearly written before you ride that if you have any type of medical condition, it can be aggravated or worsen by taking a ride on a coaster. This Markey character is trying to make a name for himself, that's all. It's preposterous. Like many people have said, most accidents can most likely be linked to rider stupidity. Stupid people that don't follow the rules specifically laid out for their protection get injured in return. I understand and agree that all ride accidents should be reported, but I highly disagree that g-forces should be regulated. They should be limited to a safe amount, not by the government, but by the park and the ride designer. Period. Sorry for the rant, this is just my opinion. It may not be as informed as some people, but it's the way I feel. :)
Monday, June 18, 2001 12:01 PM
Six deaths in 1999? They should be patting us on the back...

Monday, June 18, 2001 12:46 PM
Stealth: This legislation has been floating around since way before "Dubya" got in office. To equate the two is ludicrous.

FSC: Let's not wish death on anyone. Markey only makes Markey look bad (well him and his constituancy)

Anyway, my one and only comment on this was expressed in the article itself. The main thing Markey wants to do is close the so-called "roller coaster loophole" across all fifty states. Fine. However, the article also states that California has closed that loophole. Well if California has the practices in place that Markey wants, and an incident of this type still occurs, what effect do the practices really have? IMO, they seem to be ineffective at furthering safety. Why spend the money where no noticeable difference can be achieved? Why not spend it on education where a real difference can be acheived?

See, it's reasons like this why I dont want to put any more of my tax money into the control of those on Capitol Hill
--who can see Capitol Hill from both his office and home
Monday, June 18, 2001 12:54 PM
staticman00's avatar Tservo, the problem is, Amusement Parks don't lobby, and "donate" soft money to political campaigns. Tobacco and automobile companies do. Therefore, products that kill thousands on a daily basis can keep on leaving the shelves, and theme parks get the fire lit underneath them. It's all about the $$, whomever gives the most to politics, gets the most in return. Markley shoudl focus on some of the real issues going down IN HIS HOME STATE before he attacks parks across this great nation. I have written to every rep., senator, and the governor of Illinois to let them know I don't buy Markley's thoughts, and they shouldn't either. Peace out, fellow Coasterbuzzers.

"I think highways should have a beer lane."
-George Carlin
Monday, June 18, 2001 1:03 PM
Once again, I feel I need to encourage the majority of the people responding here to take a moment and do just a little bit of research. After all, that's allegedly what you want Markey to do, right? Oh. That's want him to take a long walk on a short pier. Well, that aside, please bear the following in mind...

I. What Markey's proposed legislation will do.
The bill before Congress...really before a Congressional committee...will empower the Consumer Product Safety Commission to collect data, investigate, and issue alerts and recalls on fixed-park amusement rides. Such rides are presently exempt from CPSC jurisdiction. To pay for this, a half-million dollars will be allocated to the CPSC.

II. How the CPSC tends to operate.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting public safety for all consumer products. Hundreds of consumer products are brought onto the market every single day, with no CPSC review. It is only after there is probable cause to investigate a product hazard...that is, after someone is hurt...that the CPSC will become involved with investigating the potential product hazard. If the CPSC identifies a product hazard, it may issue a recall or safety bulletin in an effort to mitigate the hazard.

III. In other words...
The CPSC would NOT be inspecting rides, reviewing design proposals, or indeed playing any active role at all in assuring ride safety unless there is an accident, at which point the CPSC would be empowered to investigate the accident and identify the cause and any possible defect in product design.

IV. What bothers me more than anything else... the possibility that in the event of an investigation, the generalists from the CPSC will pre-empt the jurisdiction of local specially-trained ride experts. Furthermore, we've made great strides in getting meaningful State ride safety programs in place (Ohio and Pennsylvania jump immediately to mind), and we are very close to getting good programs in place in other states (such as California where the law has been passed and they are now writing the rules and hiring the inspectors); I fear that the existence of an inadequate Federal program will make it more difficult to get good State programs in place.

Now, if the so-called journalists would delve a little deeper instead of merely quoting Rep. Markey's press releases, we might accomplish something...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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