This past weekend I rode with an older enthusiast on Millennium Force that complained about being stapled, and decided to try to loosen her seatbelt on the way up the lift. Knowing that this person was an enthusiast I politely reminded her about SRM and how it changed the way I ride coasters and she should practice this as well.
I wasn't being a jerk about it, nor did I try to take matters into my own hands. I simply reminded her of that incident, and although she seemed a little disrespectful to me after I made that comment she stopped fidgeting with her belt and enjoyed her ride.
As coaster enthusiasts we need to be the responsible riders and set a good example to others. While it seems cool to see how far you can get out of your seat, it's not so cool to the others around you. Think about everyone else that would be affected by your actions the next time you try to scoot forward to get some extra room, or try to loosen your belt to feel "airtime." There is nothing cool about mentally screwing up people around you that felt they could have done something to save you if you fell out. There is nothing cool to the ride operators that will spend everyday afterward wondering what they could have done different to counteract your irresponsible actions. Lastly, there is nothing cool to the park, that they need to publicize the accident and assure their customers that their rides are safe, then take more actions to prevent it from happening.
I'm not asking you to take matters into your own hands should you see someone else trying to tamper with their restraint. Simply remind them how dangerous it could be. If they decide not to listen to you, then notify a ride op. I'm sure with the recent events in the industry any ride op at any park will be willing to deal with the rider. The ride will be much safer if that irresponsible rider won't be allowed to ride.
In the past, many of us thought that getting "room" on any coaster was the thing to do. And I will admit that I was just as guilty as well. SRM 2003 changed all that as I'm sure it changed many others. So please, as coaster enthusiasts its time that we earn the trust back of many parks that used to host events for us. Riding responsibly and setting a good example is the way to do it.
I completely agree with Rob. It seems that those who kick up a fuss about being securely restrained predominantly fall into two categories: the, "I paid, I'll do what I like brigade" and the "I know what's safe crew" by implication thinking they know better than the parks and can disregard safety rules on that basis.
To the first group I say: at the end of the day you're a guest a guest (albeit a paying one) and must observe the host's rules. If you have a problem with the host's rules you take it up with them in a civilised and constructive fashion, NOT just disobey the rules.
As for those who think they know better than the parks: you didn't order, design, manufacture, maintain or inspect the ride, so do as you're told; you're in no position to second guess the park on safety matters. Again, if you think of a problem with a parks procedures, that's what customer relations are for.
Forgive me for being blunt, but a bit of common decency, courtesy and respect (for all concerned) is what it boils down to.
End of story!
Responsible riding is something we all should watch out for; for us and those around us.
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