Statement of International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) President and CEO, Charles W. Bray
Regarding the National Amusement Park Ride Safety Act (H.R. 2320)
May 14, 2008 - Alexandria, Virginia (United States) - Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA) held a press conference today urging passage of H.R. 2320 to extend jurisdiction of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to fixed-site amusement rides. Despite the fact that the safety record of these rides has remained consistently excellent, Congressman Markey has introduced this legislation in every Congress since 1999. In the past nine years, the bill has garnered little support in Congress. It seeks to address a problem that does not exist.
The safety of our guests is our top priority. We go to great lengths to insure guest safety and our safety record is outstanding. The entire industry is saddened when a serious injury occurs. As rare as injuries are, one injury is one too many as far as we’re concerned.
2005 data supports the outstanding safety record for the industry. In 2005, U.S. amusement parks and attractions hosted more than 300 million guests who safely enjoyed more than 1.8 billion rides. Based on data summarized by the National Safety Council in the Fixed-Site Amusement Ride Injury Survey, 2005 Update (http://www.nsc.org/downloads/documents/pdf/fap_906.pdf), less than one injury occurred out of every 1 million rides taken in the United States. The chance of being seriously injured on a ride in a fixed-site park is one in 9 million.
Fundamental safety measures have been in place in the industry for decades. In addition to a thorough set of internal mechanical, electrical, design, and operational safety checks and standards, U.S. fixed-site amusement rides are subject to one or more layers of independent examination, including state and local government, insurance companies, and private safety firms.
In addition to state jurisdiction, mobile rides in this country are regulated by the CPSC. Because of this additional oversight one might expect mobile rides to have fewer injuries than fixed-site rides. However, accidents on mobile rides make up nearly half of the total injuries reported by CPSC between 1997-2004, despite ridership being lower at these attractions. This illustrates that the CPSC jurisdiction over mobile rides has had little impact on their safety record.
In 2003, Congressman Markey convened a panel of leading doctors, biodynamic consultants, medical experts, and ride safety specialists to study the safety record of the industry. This panel’s first conclusion was that it is unlikely that a federal agency could match the effectiveness of the current system.
The park-going public should rest assured that their safety is our top priority.
IAAPA Press Office: 703-299-5127
David Mandt: firstname.lastname@example.org