Should people ride coasters "at their own risk"?

Tuesday, August 20, 2002 10:38 AM

Every time I hear someone spouting off about coasters being dangerous and the need to impose limits on the parks etc..... I can't help but feel that there is a simple solution to the problem. The parks should incorporate an exclusion clause into their terms and conditions of ticket purchases. This clause would make it explicitly clear that an individual rides their coasters at their own risk and that the park will not be liable for death/injury unless said death or injury is a result of negligence on the parks behalf.

I would imagine that one of the most salient arguments for not adopting such a clause would be that people might make negative inferences about the safety of parks with such a clause. SO, my question is simple: would you be deterred from riding coasters in a park operating such a clause? I wouldn't, as it would only be making explicit somthing that I'd already taken for granted.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002 10:43 AM
Lawyers can always get around those clauses. It wouldn't change anything.

He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002 10:47 AM
I wouldnt be offended by that clause. I think it can be applied to everything we do in life. They should have signs on the sidewalks saying cross street at your own risk. No one knows there own fate or when they are going to die, it could be anywhere and anytime.
Tuesday, August 20, 2002 10:48 AM

That clause IS already on a lot of ride tickets, park tickets and backs of season passes. something along the lines of "insert park name here is not responsible for injury or damage to property"

In addition a few rides out there have "Ride at your own risk" signs. I beleive it is in the State of New York I saw it on the safety signs at the entrance of every ride something like "We are required by state law to inform you that your participation in this voluntary activity is solely at your own risk"

There is another debate brewing about the legality/effectiveness of those signs in a court of law. But yes, that wording is already standard operating procedure at quite a few amusement venues, including the backs of the ride tickets at the carnival I went to a few nights ago.

David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville

Tuesday, August 20, 2002 11:28 AM

I was under the assumption that I was already "riding at my own risk".

As mentioned above, most parks already have disclaimers like this.

Dorney Park visits in 2002: 15

Tuesday, August 20, 2002 11:35 AM
Makes you wonder why some claims don't fall flat on their ass immediately, doesn't it :) I know: there is a lot of latitude in what constitutes negligence etc.....
Tuesday, August 20, 2002 12:02 PM

My CP Season Pass doesn't have this clause on it, but I have seen it written on the signs for the rides.

I do know that if I have a pre-existing (even unkown) condition that I could be taking a chance. But it won't stop me from riding.

At least if I died on a coaster, I'd die happy

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

Tuesday, August 20, 2002 2:53 PM

Although riders assume their own risk, they are entitled to trust that appropriate safety, design, and maintenance precautions are taken. If the park were negligent in these basic requirements, it would still be at fault regardless of signs or ticket-back printing. The law will always go out of its way to protect those who are seen to be insufficiently informed about the risks involved (ie, the riders). Since the park is clearly better informed regarding the nature of the ride, the law will require it to prove that riders were "properly informed" of the inherent risks assumed. What is "properly informed"? That's another question.

The battle here will come down to "was the (injured) rider sufficiently educated by the park about the risks to make an informed ride/not-ride decision in terms of his own medical condition?" Hopefully the courts will not hold that the parks are liable for damage arising from unknown medical conditions.

I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on CoasterBuzz sometimes.

Revised projection for 2002: 37 parks & 140 coasters. 27 & 105 through 8/11

Tuesday, August 20, 2002 3:22 PM

Well I say auto spiels on the ride and when you enter the park..

Part of a Flight Attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of us."


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