Posted Thursday, July 11, 2013 9:02 PM | Contributed by Jason Hammond
It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt — and last year’s records show at least 292 people suffered serious injuries at amusement parks and carnivals in Pennsylvania, where rides are largely monitored by state-certified private inspectors.
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The article sounds like there are bureaucrats that are grasping at straws. If an incident doesn't get reported, wouldn't you imagine that the party involved would raise a stink? If it was serious enough (broken bones, lacerations etc) I'm sure I would.
The only way that the general public is going to hear about these accidents is if the media latches on to it. Most park accidents, and carnival accidents are kept inside whatever park, or carnival they occur at. As there is no requirement by the states for the parks to report them. One reason why parks are so weary of people with digital cameras. If they see an accident, they can instantly post it to youtube. Along with many other troubles the parks have. Thus leading to the media getting a hold on it, and investigations, and then the states step in.
But, it is the same with any business that is visited by hundreds of people every day. I worked for Meijer, and we had various accidents almost every single day. Usually slip and fall accidents, or fender benders in the parking lot, kids falling out of shopping carts. The only people who get the reports are upper management within the company.
We had an elderly lady who was robbed in our parking lot by two young women. I guess the one girl hit her very hard, and she fell and hit her head on the cement, and went to the hospital in critical condition, and later she died. The only reason the media got ahold of it, is because the family of that lady sued the company, saying that their new lack of security, was partly to blame for her death.
Out of the hundreds of accidents at the 12 stores in the area. It was the only accident ever reported. Though accidents happen every day. Heart attacks, fights, you name it. We even had tow ladies during y2K, the day before new years of 2,000 got arrested in our store for fighting over a can of spam. An all out fist fight war! LOL!!
Park rides are one thing but carnival rides are another....I really have a hard time trusting that they're truly safe. There's this one company that operates around my hometown in Central NY. They've got five rides, a Downdraft, a Paratrooper, a Bumper Cars, a Round-Up, and a Flying Trapeze. I'm 23, and these same five rides have been operated at a dozen or so of the annual carnivals in my area since I was a kid and probably long before that. I just don't trust that these things can be reliably and safely operated for so long by some carnies. This article freaks me out, though I am thankful NY isn't emulating PA.
I think one of the most important statements in the article is this:
"The majority of reported accidents last year were blamed on riders. The state reported cases of patrons attempting to enter or exit rides while they were still moving or cases in which riders ignored posted height and weight restrictions."
While there are definitely cases where it is the fault of the park or carnival, one can never underestimate the stupidity of the public.
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