While amusement park thrill rides are only supposed to seem dangerous, many people are injured each year due to negligence in the operation of these rides. On average, four people are killed each year while riding amusement park rides, while injury reports average in the thousands. A man was killed in 1999 riding the Shockwave at Paramount’s King’s Dominion in Doswell, Virginia.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is a federal agency that is supposed to be regulating traveling carnival rides, but because none of their ninety employees are specifically investigating these dangers, many “accidents” are slipping through the cracks. The regulations the agency sets are voluntary, and not enforced in traveling amusement parks. In addition, stationary amusement parks, such as Disney World and Busch Gardens, are totally free of federal regulation and are on free to operate anyway they would like. Due to this oversight, a House committee is meeting to consider legislation that would increase the responsibility of the CPSC to investigate rides at stationary amusement parks and increase their watch over traveling amusement park rides as well. This bill would add $500,000 to the CPSC budget solely for them to monitor and investigate the operations of theme park rides. For more information on how to ride roller coasters safely, go to www.saferparks.org.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Premises Liability / Slip & Fall.