Effectiveness of the Intamin "Slack" rule?!?

Friday, June 10, 2005 11:57 PM
As a coaster enthusiast who has never had the pleasure of riding an Intamin coaster, I am a little confused on the issue of this "slack" rule. Hopefully you guys can clear up some things for me, because my common sense is bothering me on this issue.

While I haven't ridden one of their coasters, I HAVE ridden Drop Zone at Carowinds, which has the same seatbelts. The first year they added these seatbelts, the slack rule was in place, but even more absurd than CP's. The ride-ops consistently told us that they had to see "black", meaning the belt had to just be visible to be eligible to ride. I always wondered to myself, "Does that 1/16" section of belt make ANY difference whatsoever?" In fact, I KNOW it doesn't, that's why Carowinds hasn't been following the rule since (on the whole).

At CP, when they require this slack, do they not realize that someone could suck in to get the slack, and then immediately let out afterwards, therefore stretching the belt and removing the slack? How does SLACK create safety, instead of just making the belt shorter and simply requiring the click. The slack can (and will) pull out of the belt with my experience at Carowinds, so in a high speed (i.e. 90-120mph), high force situation, what good is this 1" doing?

Am I the only one that sees the obvious flaw with this rule?

EDIT: I am very aware that many of you agree with me on the absurdity of the Intamin restraints as a WHOLE, but this post is just in regards to the slack rule, not the seat/bar/belt arrangement. *** Edited 6/11/2005 4:00:53 AM UTC by RollrCoastrCrazy***

Saturday, June 11, 2005 12:00 AM
I dont know about a flaw, but I definitely don't understand the idea of slack.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me?

Saturday, June 11, 2005 12:06 AM
Sorry, thought the idea was well known around here...

Currently on Intamin coasters, parks are enforcing a "slack" rule, where all rider's seatbelts must be pulled with 1" of slack visible from the buckle. This would be in response to the problems Intamin has had with their restraint systems. (actually, I believe the rule was around before the incidents, but the belts were nowhere near as short, so it was never an issue)

To me, it seems like having a 1" shorter belt, and just allowing people to ride who can click the thing is a better idea... *** Edited 6/11/2005 4:07:16 AM UTC by RollrCoastrCrazy***

Saturday, June 11, 2005 6:28 AM
The only inch slack rule on the intamin goes to the lovely Cedar Point. They are the ones enforcing it.

I have a friend who's home park is SNFE. He said as long as you get the belt buckled, then they don't care.

I honestly think the slack rule is insanely stupid. If a seat belt is buckled, then you are safe. You don't need slack in a car.

The seat belt is the primary restraint on some if not most coasters by now. How many car accidents do you hear about that they have to CUT someone out of the car or seatbelt. PLENTY. Looks like the restraints did there job? Right?

I refuse to go back to Cedar Point ( yes I am sure to get a reaming from this statement, bring it on ;-) ) until lift the one inch slack rule. Honestly, what does Intamin think we are? Sticks? Nope. This is America, and we like to eat our carbs thank you.


Saturday, June 11, 2005 9:41 AM
Coastinkatie, the one slack rule doesn't add that much time to the wait. How do you know that the seatbelts on SROS at SFNE aren't an inch short than MF's so that the 1 inch rule doesn't even need to apply?

I agree that the 1 inch rule really doesn't make a difference, and that it would be easier just to say if you can get the seatbelt fastened, you are fine, but the real thing that holds up the line is kicking people off the ride, rechecking restraints and all that which is why the line is moving so slow this year.

I'd rather wait a little longer and not have to deal with those awful ankle restraints and shin guards.

Saturday, June 11, 2005 10:01 AM
I personally hate calling it the "slack rule". To me, that implies that the belt is loosely fitted around the rider, whereas what the rule is actually about is having the belt TIGHT, with at least one inch of extra belt pulled through on the unattached side.
Saturday, June 11, 2005 10:24 AM
Oh I know about the slack rule, I just dont understand why it is what it is.

I am a frequent visitor to CP and have seen them checking belts more than I think anyone would ever need to, but I just don't/didn't really understand what the point of having 1" was.

Saturday, June 11, 2005 11:46 AM
I can only think of one reason for the requirement...

The safety belt buckles that Intamin uses are one-piece aluminum buckles designed for use as paragliding buckles. Unlike most conventional seat belt buckles, the buckle does not have a sliding adjuster locking bar or locking plate. Instead, the belt passes through the two slots in the buckle and wedges against itself because both the incoming and outgoing ends of the belt get wedged under the buckle plate. The practical upshot of this is that the belt can only pass through the buckle at a 90-degree angle to the bottom of the buckle plate. That makes it very secure and very difficult to adjust once fastened. But there isn't a mechanical locking system to actively hold the belt in place; it's more like the passive belt lock found on most plastic buckles (think backpacks and the like). Perhaps the idea is to make sure that the end of the belt cannot accidentally slide back through the buckle plate? The belt is held in place by the friction between belt surfaces clamped against the bottom of the buckle.

That would make sense, except that the belt has a grab-loop sewn onto the end, which would also serve to prevent the belt from sliding back through the buckle.

In other words, it makes absolutely no sense at all. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Saturday, June 11, 2005 12:00 PM

CoastinKatie said:
The only inch slack rule on the intamin goes to the lovely Cedar Point. They are the ones enforcing it.

I have a friend who's home park is SNFE. He said as long as you get the belt buckled, then they don't care.

This is as far as I know Ohio is the only state with a state ordiance on coasters that you must follow all makers recommendations.

Saturday, June 11, 2005 1:38 PM
To me, thinking from the parks' POV...I'd go with the Premier trains with the thigh AND shin restraint, a la spaghetti bowls, FoF, Mummys, etc. Those are essentially foolproof, FEEL safe as anything, and still give MOST of the freedom of the lapbar only - all while while not "freaking out" the tame of spirit...;)

As for MY feelings, noone ever left an Anton train AFAIK...simple yet *effective*...perfection! :)

Saturday, June 11, 2005 2:11 PM
Well, there was that Mindbender incident. Now as to whether or not they left the train, I don't remember.
Saturday, June 11, 2005 2:38 PM
Millennium Force and Dragster are still lots of fun, btw.
Saturday, June 11, 2005 7:21 PM
I-Fan, the train DID lose a wheel assembly and crash, it WAS a bad accident. But the restraints, AFAIK, were intact.

Brian....true, but only for those who can still ride. Have to wonder how much "the new rules" will adversely affect CP's attendance, though...Americans are big people, LOL...

Saturday, June 11, 2005 7:29 PM
Intamin recently allowed for a 1/2 inch to be drawn and I can't remember if anyone has said this already. I see this as a sign that really soon Intamin will lift the bans on MF and TTD.
Saturday, June 11, 2005 7:33 PM

RideMan said:

.....it makes absolutely no sense at all.

Isn't that Intamin's new marketing slogan? Or is it "BIGGEST breakdowns on the PLANET!"

Saturday, June 11, 2005 9:45 PM

CoastinKatie said:

I refuse to go back to Cedar Point ( yes I am sure to get a reaming from this statement, bring it on ;-) ) until lift the one inch slack rule. Honestly, what does Intamin think we are? Sticks? Nope. This is America, and we like to eat our carbs thank you.


Intamin is just covering their butt. notice the trend of fat people getting hurt on thrill rides?!?!?!

As far as I'm concerned....overweight people are just a lawsuit waiting to happen. Thrill rides were not designed to hold a 300 plus pound person. I believe that parks and ride companies should start limiting the maximum weight of the rider. KMG rides has actually done this on the Experience and the Tango, The harnesses will not lock if your too big, no seat belts, no exceptions, very smart idea.

people just need to eat better and realize that
this is not just a ride, it is a piece of machinery that can KILL YOU in a heart beat.

I suppose that companies will soon be needing an American version, capable of containing a 600 pound person *** Edited 6/12/2005 1:47:45 AM UTC by Valentino***

Saturday, June 11, 2005 9:50 PM
Ride of Steel: I didn't say it made the wait time any slower or faster. I just think the rule is stupid. If a seat belt is fastened then it can't go anywhere.

I do have a friend in ACE, that his homepark is SFNE. He was there this season, and they have no slack rule. If you can get the belt buckled then you can ride.

Honestly, I would rather intamin just lengthin the belts an inch or two. Then people would have plenty of slack.

Cedar Point has lost my business because of this. I honestly think CP should get on Intamin, and make them relax the policy or lengthin the belts.

Katie, who has been to CP only once and doesn't care to go back.

Saturday, June 11, 2005 9:56 PM
Valentino, I think that was totally uncalled for. I am a big person, not because I eat like crap. I actually eat healthy. I am not extremely over weight by any means. I have asthma and I have to inhale a crap load of steroids every day. My weight is contributed to medical side effects.

A lawsuit waiting to happen. If I get on a coaster and do something wrong, then it's my fault. Some people are just plain stupid and make stupid decisions. But, for Intamin to lift a ONE inch slack rule, you are going over board.

So are you saying that anyone big, that can't help it, can't lose weight, shouldn't ride a coaster? Who is the hypocrite? Lemme guess you are like a stick right?

I didn't make the intamin's belt length by a 1/4 of an inch, my buckled actually touched. But like you care. You run off at the mouth.

So are you also saying women should ride coasters? Women carry their MOST of their weight in their hips? So they aren't allowed to ride Intamin's either? I think it's a load of crap.


Saturday, June 11, 2005 10:06 PM
Yeah, YEAH!

Why is it not safe now to ride at 46 inch waist and it was two years ago? Are you saying they knowingly let me put myself in danger? If so I should sue!

Get your facts straigh Vallentino, One of the FLume rides with the same kind of restraints dumped a 96 pd woman.

Chuck, who can easily ride most rides by other manufactures.

Saturday, June 11, 2005 10:13 PM

CoastinKatie said:
The only inch slack rule on the intamin goes to the lovely Cedar Point. They are the ones enforcing it.

Wrong. Knott's had the exact same rule on Xcelerator from the day it opened.

Perilous Plunge may have had the slack rule as well in its earlier (pre-4 point harness) years.

In any case, at least CF is consistent.


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