This is a big topic. I personally don't feel safe on them at all. And it's not just because they are moved around a lot, but another shocking thing I found out about carnival employees. I found on www.rideaccidents.com that some carnival employees are convicted criminals, fugitives, and the parolees that violate their parole conditions. Since I discovered this shock, I wonder what you think about this?
*** Edited 9/9/2005 3:21:41 AM UTC by SFDL Viper***
Not really. I tend to avoid carnivals, unless it's in a large metro area (like in Los Angeles or Orange County), thus requiring a more strict safety inspection and approval process. Luckily, I'm from that area, but I tend to patronize the permanent parks more just because I feel more comfortable with the way things are ran in corporate parks.
I don't feel unsafe either. I enjoy carnivals. However, not sure if your original post, Viper, will be allowed to stay in it's entirety. Don't know if that violates the 'No Copyrighted text' thing Jeff doesn't allow, so you may just want to change it to a link and not put the quotes in (I'm sure a mod could better explain).
Generally speaking, I feel safe on the majority of carnival rides because I watch a few cycles before I ride, looking and listening for anything out of the ordinary before I decide to ride. If in doubt, then I won't ride, or at least, if I do ride, I won't ride in a specific seat or car where I may feel there is a problem.
However, I became a little more nervous about the ones that use electronics to double-check the restraint when I found out the sensors could be shorted out or outright defeated.
For example, I have seen an overhead yellow light lit on a seat with the restraint fully raised on a KMG Spinout ride. The yellow lights are clearly used as indicator lights until the ride's arm rises to the 45 degree angle or so, and then those lights run chase patterns like the rest of the lights until the ride's arm lowers back down once again (then the lights become indicator lights again).I have to assume that was a sensor malfunction because if it was a shorted out or defeated sensor, the inspection team at the fair should have caught that during the daily test runs and inspections that are supposed to have been occurring.
I've also seen a rider push on a Tango restraint so that the locking tongue disengaged from the locking point just as the operator moved the dial from lock to unlock--wait, strike that... the rider was pushing on the restraint to exit the ride just as the locking tongue was pushed out of the locking area so that would be unlock to lock, because there was also a clinking sound when that occurred--and yet the yellow light for that seat still lit up. I watched the ride for like 5 additional cycles and the scenario didn't reproduce again when riders were getting on or off the ride.
Unlike theme parks, though, I've often wondered if the fair's guest relations deals with ride issues as well, or who else to go to when a supposed ride issue should be checked out (besides the operators running the ride, of course). *** Edited 9/9/2005 7:06:46 AM UTC by RideSafety***
Yup, this thread is pretty much a retread. As long as the ride is assembled correctly everytime, I don't see what the big deal is. Many parks have either had or still have portable rides. Ever ridden Laser at Dorney Park? It's a portable coaster. Ever been to Knoebels? Most of the park's rides are portable. The thing I would pay the most attention to is whether or not your state has an inspection program for portable rides.
To reply to the original post about some ride operators having records, well, I'm not sure why you're suprised given the transient nature of the business.
i don't go to carnivals, they are corny. But i have driven past a few carnivals and the rides look old and tacky. I wouldn't ride them. There's just something about the way they look that makes me think twice about them.
My major problem with Carnival rides is how expensive they are. At the New York State Fair I got 3 rides for about $13. Why not spend the extra $10 and go to Darien Lake for the day with a discount ticket?
My town has a huge on every year. I only go to see friends and get Panzarottis. Thats it. I wouldn't ride any ride there if you paid me. Once in 7th grade we rode our bikes through the carnival and a guy asked us if we wanted to make a few bucks helping put together rides. We didn't accept but I wonder how many kids they had put the rides together. There was also an accident on one of the rides were 16 people were stuck upside down for 1.5 hours. They set up a terage area next to the carnival and called in rescued squads from all the counties because they didn't know how to handle it. Everyone did get out safe and unharmed.
I agree with Man of Steel on that one. They are really expensive. I end up going to PKD or BGW instead. I only go to carnivals when they have a ride i'm interested in riding - Fireball and Spinout are awesome!
For the most part, I avoid them. My grandfather was a welder years ago and he saw lots of problems with portable rides. I can't see how rides that are constantly being assembled and disassembled can be as safe as something that stays in one place. Just increasing the number of times that a ride is taken apart and reassembled increases the chances of a mistake being made when it's put back together. Basic statistics. I feel way safer on a nice B&M or Intamin coaster ! :)
^frankly, I feel the same. At the PNE they take out some of the portable rides during the fair, but I always skip those. (except for the twin flip, which is just amazing) I usually shy away from Playland when the PNE is in season, because the Coaster's queue can become very, very long - like 3 hours. That's why I usually visit in the early season.
i just got back from one in potsdam NY (wow, in the middle of nowhere!)
rides were fun, and the stupid dizzy dinosaurs did me in, and was the only ride that made all of us sick... lol :)
the ferriswheel thing w/ round carrs that flipped all the way around was fun, but the restraints were painful for both rides because they felt the need to strap the belts SO TIGHT... it was just plain painful. other then that, good times.
I just returned from a trip from the allegan county fair in Michigan. And, I felt that the rides there were in decent working order. I did feel that some of the ride operators were a bit snippy. (Could be due to the heat.) But, everything seemed to run smooth.
I usually feel pretty safe at County fairs. And, I have also worked for a few carnival outfits. And I have only seen one bad accident. I was working at a hot dog booth next to the scrambler for a carnival that was set up in Downtown Grand Rapids for the fourth of July, (Going back a few years) Anyways, the scrambler was full of riders, and going at full speed, when the rides display lights started falling off, and smashed into the cars, sent glass flying everywhere!!! Yikes!!
The ride operater instantly stopped the ride, and workers came running from everywhere, to help people off the ride. Lots of cuts, and glass sticking out of peoples skin. But no serious injuries. And, with local peramedics right there. Those people were attended to pretty quick.
Carnival operators do take your safety very seriously. But, there are some that let individual ride owners sign up to run their rides along with the outfit. Those are the ones that you need to watch out for. There was a boy who was killed on a bumper car, that was owned by an individual...Horrible record on that ride, many safety violations...but the owner still operated the ride, even though he was under violation.