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Amusement park rides not covered by federal regulations


After a woman died in July when she fell out of a roller coaster at a Six Flags theme park, safety advocates in Massachusetts and throughout the nation are questioning the lack of oversight at theme parks in the country. There isn’t an agency that oversees the number of fatalities at amusement parks. One witness reported that the 52-year-old woman was concerned about being properly restrained before the ride began. Another friend who was with her said she tumbled out when the ride plunged down the track.

While Six Flags and the company who made the ride are conducting an internal investigation and may need to address premises liability, no authorities will look into her death once a criminal case is closed. Traveling facilities with portable rides are subject to oversight but stationary amusement-park rides are not.

A Massachusetts senator wants the rides to be regulated by the U.S. government due to the number of serious accidents that have occurred. Without that safety precaution in place, he explained that anyone who goes to an amusement park could place themselves at risk. He reportedly thinks all theme-park rides should be regulated.

According to a researcher at an Ohio hospital, 4,423 minors younger than 18 suffer injuries annually on amusement park rides. The San Antonio Express News reported that between 2000 and 2008, about 230 people were injured on rides in Texas alone, including four people who underwent amputation, 60 who damaged their teeth and 120 who broke bones.

With a high number of annual injuries across the nation because of amusement park rides, the public needs to be aware of the risks so that they can make informed decisions. However, if they are in an accident at a theme park, a personal injury attorney might be able to help clients recover compensation.

Source: ABC News, “No Federal Regulations for Roller Coaster Safety“, Colleen Curry, July 21, 2013


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