Industry puts the smack down on fed safety report

Posted Friday, August 4, 2000 7:27 AM | Contributed by Jeff

As members of the amusement industry respond, it's becoming more and more clear that the report issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on ride safety is flawed and designed to bolster support for Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) and his silly bill to authorize federal regulation of amusement rides.

A broad range of industry members question the validity of the results of the study, including people from IAAPA, Cedar Point and ride safety inspectors. Read the article from the Associated Press on Cleveland Live.

Friday, August 4, 2000 7:38 AM

someone should make a flash game where you throw darts at ed markey's head.
48.6mi. - CP
27.2mi. - SFO
3 MF rides:
3-2, 5-1, 9-2
Friday, August 4, 2000 5:55 PM
Wow, the report is like to trying to read the tax forms each year. I don't support any legislation to limit G forces as Ed Markey has. Two of the coasters on his list are at my homepark SFA. I do however support federal oversight of rides. By that I mean inspection, not taming-down of rides. In Maryland they actually have a coaster inspector. I watched him go over the blue train on S:ROS checking for anything wrong before it was put into service. This outside pair of eyes cannot be looked at like a bad thing, but many states have no inspectors at all.
Saturday, August 5, 2000 7:59 AM
Where can I get a picture of Ed Markey so I make a poster against him?

Live to have FUN!

Go Shamrocks!
Go Wolverines!
Saturday, August 5, 2000 12:45 PM
I agree, I think the only thing we need in our industry is for states to make the safety rules standardized for parks and fairs, etc. Like SFO, the staff is half-assed trained and poorly managed, that's what creates accidents, the equipment is safety conscious but if the staff is not, people get hurt.
Also, the accidents of late which caused injuries lately have been mostly by operator error, rider non-compliance, all things that better OPERATIONS and MANAGEMENT and TRAINING fix, not regulating how big or how fast the rides are.

Everybody say together...

Saturday, August 5, 2000 10:15 PM
i just got through watching a show called extra and they aired a "report" on amusment parks and coasters which I found quite disturbing in the way they so confidently announced falsehoods. The two most glaring and outragous ones were that "In the last year alone 5 people dies on roller coasters in the US" Then they had a neurologist come on a say straight out that "Roller coasters cause brain damage" It was one of the most appalling things I have ever seen, and I only hope there is some grounds for the amusment industry to sue them for slander or something. It just amazes me that they can even consider coasters dangerous when u compare the number of rides on all the coasters during the course of a year to the actual number of injuries. Riding in a car is far far far more dangerous than any roller coaster
Sunday, August 6, 2000 9:16 AM

If they have to take down roller coasters, why not tackle, smoking, diseases, and car crashes first!!! There are so many things in the world that are more important than limiting G forces on roller coasters. Let's do world peace first.
Sunday, August 6, 2000 8:35 PM
They needd to have regualtions on staff training.
Thursday, August 10, 2000 2:10 PM
THose numsculls. I hope I can like sign something to stop them . I mean really they just have to baby sit us!

Who agrees with me?
Monday, August 21, 2000 8:32 PM
In effect the CPSC report only looks at the emergency room visits from 2 of the over 200 amusement parks in the United States, since only 2 of the emergency rooms in their national sample are near major amusement parks. I fact, the CPSC's increase was entirely due to an increase in the visits to one emergency room. The CPSC made no effort to determine why this increase occurred. They just claim that it indicates a national trend.

This is gross abuse of statistics. A sample size of 2 is not sufficient to be a statistical sample of over 200 parks. Their 100 sample emergency rooms are adequate for sampling accidents due to toys or barbeque grills where their are millions of points of use. It doesn't work for examining safety when the exposure occurs at only a few hundred locations.

Their are many reasons why the number of emergency visits may increase from 1 park.
1)The park has a real safety problem.
2)The park has had a major increase in attendance.
3)A 2nd park has opened in the area.
4)The park has changed its policy and now sends minor injuries previously treated on site to the emergency room.
5)The emergency room has started coding all or too many injuries from the park as ride related. This might include falls while walking, heat exhaustion, numerous types of bobos, and heart attacks as ride injuries.

The report only shows an increase in the number of emergency room visits, not an increase in injuries. As mentioned above, the increase may be due to many other reasons. Correlations alone are not sufficient to show causality, there must also be some information on what is actually happening. It is a classic example in statistics that there is a strong correlation in Europe between the number of stork's nests in an area and the birth rate. Ingnore the actual facts, and one could conclude that storks must bring babies based on the correlation alone.

When you do a statistical study and one data point is so far out from the rest that it reverses the result of your study, the only responsible thing to do is to determine why this point is so far out and if it represents something important. Also, no decent statistician would attempt to use a sample size of 2 for just about anything. The CPSC needs to have their statistics reviewed by impartial statisticians before releasing reports.

Ride safe,

Jim Fisher

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