New Jersey toughens amusement ride regulations

Posted Monday, July 23, 2001 5:08 AM | Contributed by supermandl

Last week the New Jersey governor signed a bill that toughens the requirements for amusement ride operation. Operators will be required to have higher per-incident insurance coverage, submit engineering specs and allow the state to fine manufacturers for defective rides.

Read more from Philly.com.

Related parks

Monday, July 23, 2001 5:57 AM
Well, I guess this is good, right?
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 6:21 AM
Hopefully SFGAdv will not be affected in a strong way.
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 6:22 AM
sounds like Markey is making progress. Dang.

-------------
Rollercoasters are the secret of life!

http://www.woodencoaster.com
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 6:27 AM
Good maybe the ride ops at some of the NJ parks will pay attention a little bit more!

-------------
One word NITRO.
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 7:13 AM
Jeff's avatar This has nothing to do with Markey. If you're going to talk about the issues, know what they are.

This is a good thing, because it places the regulation where it should be, at the state level, where there are more resources and people who are familiar with the local attractions.

-------------
Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 7:57 AM
Actually, the insurance minimum of $1,000,000 per incident seems quite low. In a serious accident involving a coaster train, or a tip over of a flat ride, the medical costs alone could easily exceed that number. For a 28 seat coaster train, that is just $36,000 per rider.

If anything here is of concern, it is the permitting of new rides under the law. Where is New Jersey going to get the personnel to do quality permit examinations in a reasonable period of time. Of course there is always the concern about the costs and delays that can happen when having to obtain permits.
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 8:58 AM
Why would the state fine manufacturers, it seems to me that most accidents are the fault of the riders, the remainder are probably due to the operation of the ride? Anyway, I'm happy to note that Nitro is up and running before the legislation passed. Also, aren't carnivals and fairs MUCH more dangerous than amusement parks...

-------------
rollergator - intent on improving the "guest experience" - coming soon to a park near you
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 11:00 AM
Stupid government. They have bigger things to deal with (crimes and other "bad things")(which I can't say because Jeff will kick me off).

-------------
Don't Fight It: Ride It! Raging Bull
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 11:13 AM
I hope you folks in New Jersey like the rides you have now, because the manufacturer permitting process, depending on how they handle it, could very well lead manufacturers to refuse to sell in the State of New Jersey.

Several states have "type acceptance" procedures...Pennsylvania comes to mind...where rides are approved by a state ride safety board before they are permitted to operate in the state. But in most cases, what is required is that the State have on file select technical information about the ride such as the ride's maintenance and operation manuals, and require that the manufacturer certify that the ride is safely engineered. Usually that means having a certified engineer sign off on the plans. Unless the law has been watered down a bit since it was first proposed, New Jersey is demanding complete engineering data on new rides so that the State engineers can second-guess the manufacturers. I don't like that one bit, given that the traditional State position typically matches the ASTM standard: Thou Shalt Follow the Manufacturer's Recommendations. Now here is New Jersey taking on the position of superceding the manufacturer's authority on the construction of a ride.

The other provisions, I have no trouble with, and in fact I think are probably a Good Thing. As Jeff pointed out, this is STATE authority here, which is exactly where it should be. I just don't like the idea of manufacturers being second-guessed by regulators who may or may not understand the dynamics they are examining. Type acceptance is OK, but I think New Jersey's new law may go a bit too far.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 11:19 AM
Sorry Jeff. I didn't read the full article. I guess this law is pretty good since it will require manufactures to keep alert. Which regulations are they talking about though? Like zoning, or the actual building process? Like how would they know if say Intamin or any other forgin manufacturer is complying with DCA regulations?

-------------
Rollercoasters are the secret of life!

http://www.woodencoaster.com
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 1:32 PM
Oy yoy yoy! People, people, people, this is not going to change a thing! The only thing that will change is the fact that there is another insurance rate rise! Sure, it will cause parks to be more safe...but that just means that the ride ops will now have to actually check the restraint...not just tap on it. The most extreme rides in the history of man are still yet to come...and I wouldn't be surprised if NJ got them all. Stop worrying...nothing bad can come of this.

-------------
KoЯn Rules! I just came out to feed!
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 5:39 PM
The ride manufactuers have been complaining vehemently about this legislation. Who would know best how a ride is supposed to perform? The people who designed, prototyped, tested and put it into production, or a state engineer who is going to have to interpet it after the fact? Not only that, all this information would be in the public domain, free for anyone to misinterpet. *** This post was edited by Dutchman on 7/23/2001. ***
+0
Monday, July 23, 2001 7:24 PM
God, I hate our Acting Governor. While this is definitally going to have an impact on most small boardwalk amusement parks which can't afford the big rides. But honestly I can't see the big manufacturers turning down $10+ Million dollar projects. When a park like SFGAdv. is willing to pay top dollar for a coaster, I doubt that a manufacturer will turn them down. Parks will most likely have to cover the permitting fees and additional annoying fees.
+0
Tuesday, July 24, 2001 2:39 AM
Does this in any way infringe on the stuff our beloved manufactures like to keep secret?

+0
Tuesday, July 24, 2001 5:16 AM
Although I agree with some aspects of this legislation, I still wonder if this will hurt many of the smaller parks in our area. One park that quickly comes to mind is Clementon Park in South Jersey. This park (including others like the Jersey Shore boardwalks) are entering tough times between fierce competition with the big guns and limited expansion capabilities due to space, local town limitations and many other factors. I worry that imposing such higher insurance premiums all at once will put a burden on the park or the people going to the park. This will probably mean higher costs for us to get in, park, eat, etc. The only way to incur these higher premiums will be to pass it on to the customer. They can't make less profit, right? This legislation could screech these parks (or piers) to a halt just as they are becoming something by adding rides like an S&S tower, a few legitimate roller coasters and some decent flats rides. Is it possible to make things safer without higher cost?
+0
Tuesday, July 24, 2001 9:39 AM
Dutchman (as usual) and daisybean have nailed it. The problem isn't in the reporting requirements, or in the increased insurance requirements (I was surprised to find that they weren't that high already), but rather in the state review of the manufacturer's engineering. Unless the legislation has been watered down from when I last heard about it, the State is demanding complete technical details on every ride before that ride can operate. Furthermore, the State is demanding that the manufacturer be licensed to sell rides in New Jersey. What does that mean for old, out-of-production rides from out-of-business ride companies? Does that mean nobody can bring an Aeroaffiliates Flying Coaster or a King Frolic Ride into the State of New Jersey because those manufacturers are not licensed by the State? Does it mean that if the State engineer doesn't agree with an engineering decision...right or wrong...made by the manufacturer, the manufacturer is subject to State penalties? It's one thing to hold a manufacturer responsible for building a safe product; it is quite another to hold veto power over a manufacturer's engineering and product design.

In my opinion, this is yet another example of how laws are made in New Jersey. While most states adopt general ride safety laws based on following manufacturer's specifications and adhering to ASTM protocols, New Jersey tends to respond to specific accidents and pass very specific rules to guard against those particular accidents. In this case, Zamperla provided an inadequate anti-rollback system on a coaster car, and it is unclear whether it was inadequate because Zamperla did it wrong or if it was inadequate because Gillian's maintained it improperly. The State has responded by saying that the design has to be approved by the State engineer.

So I have to wonder...if the State engineer approves a design and there is a catastrophic failure of that design, who bears responsibility? The state? Or the manufacturer?

I think this particular law sets a dangerous precedent and is unlikely to result in any actual safety improvement. But that's just my opinion.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
+0
Saturday, July 19, 2003 12:36 AM
ok i think its a good idea
+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...