Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Carnival of Safety.


I absolutely love roller coasters. In fact I've always loved carnival rides of any type. As a kid, the Oak Tree Festival occurred once a year in my hometown. Every child in town wanted to ride "The Zipper," but few did out of fear that they'd overfill their colostemy bag. lil' Vavoom, however, rode "The Zipper" at least 20 times a year at the Oak Tree Festival, undeterred by apparent death.

Today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates migratory carnival rides, ensuring the safety of all those seeking thrills aboard rides such as "The Zipper." Fixed rides, such as those found at Disneyland and Disneyworld are exempt from such regulatory oversight. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D - Mass.) has introduced legislation seeking federal oversight of theme park rides. There have been plenty of accidents as a result of rides at Disneyland over the years.

Disney, along with other theme park owners have opposed the legislation, seeking to set their own safety standards. They would rather not have federal regulation overwhelm their business model. Where do you stand on this issue? Should federal oversight be introduced to ensure the safety of theme park rides? On a more whimsical note, what is your favorite thrill ride?

6 Comments:

Blogger RT said...

Oh... The Zipper. Just the thought makes me want to hurl. Give me a good old fashion farris wheel, or even one of those rides that drop you two miles in two seconds... But keep The Zipper away from me!

I don't really think there's a need for the govt to be involved with places like Disneyland, they have their own interest to protect. They're going to make sure their rides are as safe as possible because they don't want to lose money. Simple as that.

The carnivals that come and go, however, don't have to worry about losing business due to an accident because no one really knows (unless you're doing a lot of studying) which ones have had problems.

2:30 PM  
Blogger mindful said...

And here I don't even know what the zipper is...

But I agree with you, rt. Disney can be effectively regulated by lawsuits and public opinion. A well-informed public should have the option of going on unsafe rides if it chooses. It's just much harder for consumers to be informed about the mobile carnivals.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Edge said...

Leave it at the local and state level.

~Jef

4:37 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Busch Gardens in Tampa just opend SheiKra. It's a roller coaster that goes straight down. I just about lost it a few weeks ago when I went with the kids.

Here are a few pictures.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

I just read about this same issue. I think a lot had to do with them wanting Disneyland to install safety belts on the Splash Mountain ride. I really think that Disney has done a pretty good job over the years with keeping their rides safe, or keeping the public from knowing about the issues at hand. I am not sure spending tax payer money is really worth it, when they seem to have it under control themselves. Afterall as RT said, they do not want to lose customers.

7:35 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

I'd like to see more involvement from the state over federal here. I do think that Disney has had a pretty good record for injuries over time for the amount of use the rides get. I do think that newer rides may need more scrutiny as we have seen more people have post-ride issues. But then again, I don't think that an entertainment venue should have to have someone sign a waiver or take an exam to prove they have a good heart before allowing the patron on a ride.

6:52 PM  

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