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Amusement Parks

When a ride brings death. “Friday’s death of a roller-coaster rider at Six Flags Over Texas appears to have one of two likely causes: Either some kind of negligence on the part of ride operators caused a Dallas woman to plummet from the Texas Giant, or there was some kind of security restraint malfunction. Either way, the public deserves clear answers about what happened and why.”

“The decision by Six Flags to offer minimal information and to keep its investigation in-house, instead of seeking an independent review, strikes us as self-serving and unlikely to put the public at ease. Neither Texas nor the federal government has agencies charged with amusement park accident investigations.”

Excerpted from: Editorial: Six Flags’ credibility at risk after roller coaster death, Dallas Morning News 7-22-13

Not So Thrilling: Amusement Park Rides.  "The CPSC has no employee whose full-time job is to ensure the safety of such rides. The agency’s 90 field investigators – who oversee 15,000 products, work from their homes and live mostly on the East Coast – are so overstretched that they frequently arrive at carnival accident scenes after rides have been dismantled".
"As a result, critics say, supermarket shopping carts feature a more standardized child-restraint system than do amusement rides, which can travel as fast as 100 mph and, according to federal estimates, cause an average of four deaths and thousands of injuries every year".
"State regulators and ride safety advocates say that this record is emblematic of wider problems at the CPSC, whose lagging efforts to keep unsafe toys and other children’s products from the marketplace have created a public outcry and have brought intense congressional scrutiny. Rulemaking by the agency has decreased during the Bush administration, and its officials say that budget and staffing constraints have made the commission vulnerable to industry pressure to adopt voluntary standards, or, in the case of fixed-site amusement park rides, no federal regulation".
Excerpted from: On Thrill Rides, Safety Is Optional, Washington Post, Dec 4, 2007