New Jersey has fewer safety violations than last year

Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2003 4:39 AM | Contributed by Jeff

New Jersey state inspectors reported fewer safety violations with amusement park rides this summer, while the number of serious injuries remained unchanged from last year. Statistics released Monday by the state Division of Codes and Standards showed that through Labor Day, inspectors found 1,498 safety violations, down from 2,268 last year. The state also licensed 1,998 amusement rides this year, up from 1,811 last year.

Read more from AP via

Tuesday, September 9, 2003 4:44 AM
If that doesn't make a case for the adequacy of state agencies, I don't know what does.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2003 5:13 AM
The thing that bugs me is that the number of injuries hasn't declined. How can you say that rides are getting safer when the same number of people are getting hurt? Sure, there are fewer safety violations...but then I can remember an incident a couple of seasons ago at a Major Amusement Park where the park corrected a safety violation and almost ended up getting me hurt as a result.....

What matters are not safety violations. What matters are people getting hurt. When that number drops, then you can say your rides are safer.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003 6:30 AM
The article isn't real clear on the total number of injuries classified as serious. However if there were 276 minor injuries, and 3 broken bones, it sounds like the total number of serious injuries may have been in single digits. When the total number of incidents is this small its not possible to determine trends based on just 2 years of data, you have to look at several years of data to say anything meaningful.
Tuesday, September 9, 2003 7:53 AM
This is obviously all because of Ed Markey's relentless quest to increase safety measures and reduce harmful G-forces of those dangerous death machines. Huzzah for Ed Markey!


btw, I saw Markey on TV for the first time the other day. He sounds exactly like Mayor Quimby on the Simpsons (i.e. hyper-exaggerated Kennedy family Boston accent). "I, er, uh, oppose rollah-coastahs."

A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003 8:03 AM
I suppose if the number of rides given increased over the last year, and the amount of injuries stayed constant, then there was at least a decrease in the injuries per ride ratio. But we don't know if the number of rides given increased...

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Tuesday, September 9, 2003 9:17 AM
The total number of injuries reported decreased dramaticly due to a change in reporting criteria. The number of serious injuries was tiny. I would guess, based on general attendance trends in the industry, that the total number of rides probably decreased. If you had say 10 serious injuries last year and 11 serious injuries this year, the total number of incidents is so small that you can't determine any trend.

This is often a problem when things are very safe. It becomes difficult to determine if things are getting safer or not. Sometimes looking at the number of safety violations or near misses can help, but small changes in how inspectors look at them can mask what is actually happening.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003 12:04 PM
Sorry to post twice in a row, but does anyone know how to access the actual statistics that were released. I haven't had any luck finding them. I searched the New Jersey state web site with no luck, but that could be my search was poor.
Tuesday, September 9, 2003 12:07 PM
I agree Rideman but its all part of the CYA mentality. God forbid anything happens, the parks want to be able to claim that they don't have any safety violations -- regardless of whether the safety violation actually promotes safety or not.

Dippin Dots- ice cream of the future since 1989

Tuesday, September 9, 2003 3:13 PM
Yikes, it's scary to read about the people who were injured on the go-kart track/s. As someone who works on one quite frequently, I'm always worried about injury. I've been out on the track trying to help someone who was either stuck or stalled, only to have people whizzing by me like I wasn't standing there.
If someone makes a post and you post-quote it right beneath it, you're wasting bandwidth. Think before you press the button.
Wednesday, September 10, 2003 6:20 AM
The rides with the most total injuries tend to be the rides where the riders have the most control. These include go carts and antique cars. (There's a very good reason for all of those signs saying not to bump the car in front of you.)

Fatal injuries tend to be more common on rides involving high speeds or heights such as coasters.

Saturday, September 13, 2003 10:01 AM
I don't understand why all go karts are not required to have radio controlled governors, seems liek simkple logic to me.

If I was part of a coaster, I would be an upstop pad on an Arrow Mine Train.


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