House committee votes against Markey's CPSC amusement bill

Posted Friday, December 14, 2007 9:58 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday rejected a measure to subject amusement park rides to federal monitoring but promised a first-ever hearing on the issue. Committee Chairman John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) and the chairman of the panel's consumer protection subcommittee, Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), will soon schedule hearings to address the lack of federal oversight of the nation's amusement parks, Rush said.

Read more from The Washington Post.

Friday, December 14, 2007 11:17 AM
He'll be back!
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Saturday, December 15, 2007 1:24 AM
So thrill rides hurtle children at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour? One has to wonder which rides those would be, or who exactly Mr. Markey considers children.

While 4 deaths a year is indeed a tragedy, there are many, many more products on the market that cause many more deaths annually than amusement parks/rides.

Perhaps Mr. Markey should have the CPSC spend more time and money on curbing the influx of millions of products entering the country from China that contain lead and other harmful substances. Or won't he worry about that until 5 people a year die from them?

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Saturday, December 15, 2007 2:04 AM
There is at least one ride which can hurtle riders at speeds approaching 100 MPH (although the last time I rode it, top speed was about 6 MPH. Whee.) for which the minimum height requirement is 48". According to a fairly recent CDC growth chart, that's between the ages of 6 and 9 years of age depending on whether you're talking about the 5th or the 85th percentile.

Not that ride vehicle speed really has that much to do with the frequency or severity of injuries to children, but it makes for a good sound bite, I guess. And there is at least a verifiable grain of truth to it: yes, there is a ride that an unaccompanied 8-year-old kid can ride that goes 100 MPH on a good day. Never mind that to the best of my knowledge that particular ride has never hurt anybody of any size or age.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007 1:28 PM
Jeff's avatar I think that's the right question. Which one of these 100 mph rides has killed children, or for that matter, anyone else?
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Saturday, December 15, 2007 4:19 PM
Anybody got a link listing park deaths year by year? I thought I saw one a while back, but I've forgotten where.

I would be suspicious of that four deaths per year number they came up with. How many of those casualties were incurred at carnivals and state fairs? And of those in parks, how many were drownings at swimming areas, or other deaths that were only coincidentally incurred on rides? I'm thinking of that death that occurred on Disney's Mission Mars. Didn't that end up being unrelated?

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Monday, December 17, 2007 10:18 AM
There were several on Mission Mars, all due to pre-existing conditions.
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