Statement of International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) President and CEO, Charles Bray Regarding the National Amusement Park Ride Safety Act of 2009 (H.R. 2514)

AMERICA'S AMUSEMENT PARK INDUSTRY ALREADY EXTREMELY SAFE, RESPONSIBLE, AND REGULATED

May 26, 2009 - Alexandria, Virginia (United States) - Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) re-introduced his legislation entitled the National Amusement Park Ride Safety Act shortly before the Memorial Day holiday weekend. 

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.

2007 data supports the outstanding safety record for the industry. In 2007, U.S. amusement parks and attractions entertained nearly 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, 2007 Update (http://downloads.nsc.org/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 amusement park in the U.S. is one in 9 million.

There is no evidence federal oversight would improve on the already outstanding safety record of the industry, and it could cost taxpayers millions to try. Even a panel of leading doctors, biodynamic consultants, medical experts, and ride safety specialists, convened at Congressman Markey’s request to study the safety record of the industry, concluded it is unlikely that a federal agency could match the effectiveness of the current system.

The park-going public should rest assured when they step on theme park rides throughout the country knowing their safety is our industry’s No. 1 priority. 

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Editor’s Note:  Ride Safety Tips for Park Visitors are available HERE.