Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thrill Rides Kill

I saw this article about the dangers of carnival and theme park rides today, and while there isn’t much riding going on around here at this time of year, it ought to be at least thought provoking.

These rides are not safe, no one is tracking their safety record, infrequently is someone working to ensure they are safe, and parents should be concerned.
…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.

I have wondered about these rides for years, especially the traveling carnival ones, but after reading this article I am convinced that they ought to be policed or shut-down. I don’t mean to be a kill-joy, but why should we allow children to be put at risk needlessly.
Theme parks won their exemption in 1981, after a CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) probe of ride accidents at Marriott theme parks alleged a coverup of safety hazards…The exemption was included in an omnibus agriculture bill that year, leaving oversight of theme parks to disparate state programs, including some lacking inspectors or enforcement powers. Family activists and state regulators say that as a result, efforts to find and correct safety problems have been inhibited, the number and extent of ride injuries remains uncertain, and families have been prevented from assessing the risks posed by roller coasters and Ferris wheels, wave pools and spinning rides.

Here is an issue that needs pushing to federal legislators. It ought to be a slam-dunk, saving kids lives and limbs. We must fight back against “big business” influence that limits action on this issue. Kids are dying and being injured. The time to act is now, before it happens to another kid.

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