My thoughts: Our responsiblity as enthusiasts

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 11:09 AM
In light of what happened this past weekend on the Superman coaster, I would like to express my thoughts on what I believe is our responsiblity as coaster enthusiasts.

(note: I am in no way trying to imply that Saturdays incident was caused by rider error. The cause of that accident will be determined by the investigation)

We enjoy coasters for the amazing experiences they are. We understand that one of the key components of the enjoyment of a coaster is that feeling of fear that comes from traveling at extreme heights and exceptional speeds through the twisting courses. It is these characterists that generate the thrill, but they are also the qualities that create a very real danger. Fortunately, we know that the parks, coaster designers and manufacturers go through exceptional lengths to make sure these rides are as safe as possible. Considering the tremendous number of coaster riders each year, the industry has an exceptional "track" record. And in order for parks to continue to flourish and grow this record must continue - accidents are the worst type of publicity a park can receive.

The safety devices and restraint systems they create are meant to keep us in the seat from beginning to end with little or no work required by the rider himself. But when someone intentional avoids and tampers with a safety system, the risk of disaster increases drastically. We, as enthusiasts, are the most informed about the all of the accidents that have occurred in the industry. We are here each day reading and discussing these tragedies. We know the dangers because we have seen them.

I am sure no one here wants to see the creation of coasters to slow down, or for the restrictions and safety devices to become so cumbersome that they detract from the experience. We would be the first group to complain if this was to happen.

We must insure the future of coasters, and we can do so by: respecting the danger of this activitiy, following the rules and riding safe, and setting an example for others who are less aware of the risks. *** Edited 5/4/2004 3:31:06 PM UTC by jdancisin***

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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 11:13 AM
Sadly, the same thoughts were shared after Stark Raven Mad last year.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 11:13 AM
I totally agree with what you are saying. I for one would hate to see a decline in coaster construction because of a few accidents! I think that Intamin is working hard right now to redesign there trains to be EVER MORE safe than they were.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 11:22 AM
While I agree with the thrust of the original message, it implies that rider error was the cause of Saturday's accident. Until the report is released, we shouldn't assume this to be the case.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 11:30 AM
I am not trying to imply anything in regards to Saturdays incident. These are just my thoughts as they relate to accidents caused by rider error. But I certainly can see why you thought that. sorry for the confusion.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 11:30 AM

jdancisin said:
In light of what happened this past weekend on the Superman coaster, I would like to express my thoughts on what I believe is our responsiblity as coaster enthusiasts.

I just wondered if you were a member of ACE cause I am sure that this will be talked about soon. I know that in our new guideline packet we got it talks about our responsibilites and what we are required to do, otherwise we loose our ACE membership. I am sure that this will all be discussed at ACE events around the country


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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 11:32 AM
No, I am in no way affiliated with any group. This is my individual perspective. *** Edited 5/4/2004 3:32:20 PM UTC by jdancisin***
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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 11:48 AM
Well, thanks for that contribution scubasteve.

I agree with you on all of your points jdancisin but this was a bad time for the post because it certainly looks like this accident was the impetus for your thoughts.

Personal responsibility on a whole seems to be a vanishing species. It is one reason I was so upset with President Clinton and his lack of it during the whole Monica thing. Our society...and even the leaders in our society on all sides of the political spectrum seem to have fogotten that sometimes we are at fault for the things we do and no lawsuit will change that.

But in case of the most recent accident I would in no way be prepared to say it was the victim's fault.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 5:22 PM
I think jdancisin just used this situation to launch into thought about how we as enthusiasts should be responsible. Like he said he in no way thought it was rider error. It just makes sense to question after an incident like this. It would be like if your friend or loved one was killed suddenly in an accident or for any reason disease etc... and it makes you think about your own life like how you drive fast or whatever and you may question your life and the things you do because it hit close to home.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 6:34 PM
Yes, that is exactly right. I realize that by writing this at this particular moment that it appears I am saying that this rider was not safe and that is the reason for his death. But I really do not mean to imply that. This incident got me to think about safety in general.

I read an article recently that said there we no longer have accidents in this world (in particular, in this country). That every time something bad happens, we immediately start looking for someone or something to blame. In most cases, so we can make some sort of financial gain. I for one miss the simpler days.

One time when i was a kid, I tried to ride my bike with my eyes closed, just for the fun of it and because I was a stupid kid. Well I hit hit a mailbox and slid across a stone driveway on my face. I didn't try to blaim the manufacturer of the bike for not warning me to keep me eyes open when i ride; I didn't try to blame the owner of the mailbox for placing their mailbox too close to the street; and I didn't try to sue to person who chose the rocks with the sharp edges. Accidents happen. I took responsiblity for my stupidity and I learned from my mistakes.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 6:38 PM
"I took responsiblity for my stupidity and I learned from my mistakes."

"Mac Forever."

You obviously haven't learned from all of them ;)

mOOSH - PC rulz!

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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 7:12 PM
Rocks with sharp edges? You grew up in one helluva hazardous neighborhood! ;)
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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 8:51 PM

jdancisin said:
I for one miss the simpler days.

I, too, yearn for the old days, when the worst coaster accident you ever heard about was Fabio getting whacked in the schnoz by a bird.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2004 9:17 PM
No offense to any of you here, but..

I don't personally feel like I have any responsibility to any of you or even to the parks. As long as I conduct myself in a safe manner, everything else will take care of itself. Perhaps a utopian view of things, but certainly not any more ambitious than asking everyone to "behave" as this thread does.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2004 5:44 AM
I agree Brian, and I don't think I am responsible for setting an example to others. If people (enthusiasts or not) don't have enough common sense to adhere to the park rules then they have nobody to blame but themselves if something happens. It's as simple as that.

-Tina

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Wednesday, May 5, 2004 9:23 AM
Well, if you come off as representing a certain group then you DO have responsibility to that organization...and any organization that supports it. For instance, if you are a member of ACE and you wear the lovely ACE logo merchandise then you are representing more than yourself.

And, because ACE works in cooperation with many parks across the country you are representing all of those parks too. When you do something stupid it affects more than just you in this case.

If you go to a Coaster Convention and have ERT then you better behave property during that ERT or it does reflect poorly on more than just you.

I would also suggest that if you are riding with minors then you have an obligation to set a good example for them as a "grown up".

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Wednesday, May 5, 2004 9:43 AM
What Homey said wasn't "I don't want to set a good example". He said "I follow the rules." That is setting a good example.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2004 10:18 AM
Homey....it woud be REALLY cool if we lived in your utopia. You're a regular modern-day Thomas More...;)

Unfortunately, our society works a little different, where our *level of responsibility* extends well past ourselves and our own families. Because so many in our society *abdicate* THEIR responsibilities, their children have to look elsewhere for role models. I think I had a quote from SIR Charles Barkley about that very thing not too long ago (maybe a year or so)....

Companies should be "held accountable", and so should in-duh-viduals (thanks to Scott Adams for the alternate spelling)...;)

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Wednesday, May 5, 2004 11:24 AM
Just to add my 2 cents, what gets on my nerves is when people think that they have the right to disobey the rules. You know, the: "I paid, I'll do what I like brigade". Equally offensive are those who think they know better than the parks and can disregard safety rules on that basis. At the end of the day a person is a guest (albeit a paying one) and must observe the host's rules. As for those who think they know better than the owners: you didn't order, design, manufacture, maintain or inspect the ride, so shut up and do as you're told; you're in no position to second guess the park.

Forgive me for being blunt, but a bit of common sense, courtesy and respect is what it boils down to.

Best,

B *** Edited 5/5/2004 3:25:34 PM UTC by BeyondOblivion***

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Wednesday, May 5, 2004 11:47 AM
Wow-well said BeyondOblivion. Straight to the point with a little venom thrown in.
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