Tennessee begins ride inspection program

Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 9:26 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A bill signed into law on New Year's Day means amusement park rides in Tennessee will be watched closer than ever. All rides, big or small, now have to meet the same inspection standards. Huge rides dot the skyline of Pigeon Forge, entertaining visitors all year long. But back in 2004, one family's vacation turned tragic. June Alexander, 51, died when her safety harness allegedly malfunctioned while she was on a ride at the Rockin' Raceway. Her family watched her fall some 60 feet to the ground.

Read more from WBIR/Knoxville.

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Monday, February 23, 2009 2:28 PM

I wonder how extensive the inspections will be. Would the inspector go through every nut, bolt & fitting to make sure it meets a certain torque spec?

Would an inspector be onsire during ANY off-season overhaul?

Would they have an intamit knowledge of ann aspects of rides or would there just be type of specalist who just does handles flats & spinners and one type for coasters?

Just curious.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

Monday, February 23, 2009 2:59 PM
Jeff's avatar

If this is in response to the accident I'm thinking of, the woman fell out of a Zamperla Hawk that had its harness interlocks defeated. Normally if any restraint is open or malfunctioning, you can't run the ride. I can't think of a bigger example of willful and blatant negligence.

Hopefully, if the laws are written correctly, and they have qualified people doing the inspections, this is the kind of thing they're looking for.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

Monday, February 23, 2009 3:25 PM
rollergator's avatar

99% certain you're referring to the correct incident Jeff. If there's a case in the annals of amusement operators running rides in an unsafe manner, this is case A1. Had to disable a couple of "redundant" safety systems in order to get the ride to run with the restraints as they were. This is one that truly deserves jail time, barring any MAJOR changes in the story. Seemed like the mechanics even warned the operator, who did the "jury-rigging" himself. Tragic. :(

Monday, February 23, 2009 3:38 PM

I seem to recall that it wasn't the operator, it was the park's manager that did it.

Monday, February 23, 2009 4:21 PM
rollergator's avatar

^Sorry, I used a bad term. PARK operator (GM) was what I was referring to, you're correct Dutch...


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