The age old debate about Theme Park safety is in the spotlight. In recent weeks, there have been two theme park tragedies, one involving the severing of a young 13 year old girl's legs below the ankle at a Kentucky Six Flags Theme Park and the other a tragic death of a 21 year old female Theme Park worker in New York. There are several discussions in the media on are theme parks becoming more dangerous and are adequate safety measures in place at theme parks around the country to protect the public?
According to an Associated Press news story, on Foxnews.com, Wendy Goldberg, a Six Flags Spokeswoman, indicated that the accident involving the young 13 year old girl, happened on the Superman Tower of Power. This is any parents worst nightmare, a large piece of heavy machinery harming their child. Thankfully, the young girl, was in stable condition after surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, according to an Associated Press article on CNN.com.
The family and friends of Gabriela Garin, a 21 year old Theme Park worker that was killed on the Mind Scrambler at the historic Rye Amusement Park in New York over the weekend, are mourning her death. According to an Associated Press, article, the employer's role in the tragedy, is being questioned by the family. One can't help but wonder if the the safety precaution, created after the July 2004 fatality, were followed properly, would Gabriella would be alive today? Time will tell, if safety measures could have prevented this latest theme park tragedy.
It is sad that it takes tragedies for adequate safety measures to be put in place at amusement parks. Since Amusement parks attracts families, children and people of all ages, should there be uniform safety standards and guidelines for the multi-billion dollar amusement park industry?
The non profit organization, Safer Parks, is a public service organization dedicated to preventing amusement ride injuries through research, information sharing, and advocacy. They try to understand the causes of preventable amusement ride accidents and injuries, and effectively communicate that information to interested consumers, industry members, and governments. They are a consumer advocate group in setting standards and regulations that protect the public safety, with a special emphasis on children. Click here to read the editorial from Kathy Fackler on Regulatory Roulette. The founder of Sparks gives a candid insight into the inconsistencies around the country on government regulations. Over regulation is not necessary, however, safety protocols should be in place so that they are not drastically different from one state to another.
Here is a quick theme park safety fact, as of 2006, the Consumer Product Safety Commission ceased publication of statistical data on injuries associated with amusement rides. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, IAAPA, the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities worldwide and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the amusement industry. According to their website, they oppose Bill # H.R. 2320 that set out to restore the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission over amusement park rides which are at a fixed site, and for other purposes. I wonder why they could possibly oppose such a bill? You can read the upbeat stories on their site about Amusement Park injury statistics that sound positive. The site has an interesting study by the National Safety Council on the 2006 Fixed-site Amusement Ride Injury Survey. However, the site does not include studies on deaths at the Amusement Parks. It may be hard to put a positive spin on such a gruesome topic. Enter theme parks at your own risk and be careful. The goal of the amusement park is to provide a fun place where people come, have a good time and spend money. The theme park's goal is to make as much money as possible, in hopes of making huge profits. There is nothing wrong with a corporation making a profit, as long as it is not at the expense of innocent patrons.
As a Personal Injury Law Firm, LaBovick & LaBovick, P.A., our attorneys help injured victims or family members suffering the loss of a loved one due to negligence, wrongful death, or liability find possible answers to personal injury questions. Visit the firm website, LaBovick.com, to learn more about personal injury.