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European Amusement Ride Safety Information
Safety is the Amusement Park Industry's Number 1 Priority
- Amusement park standards are set by the ASTM International, F-24 Committee on Amusement Rides and Devices.
- ASTM F-24 is comprised of consumer advocates, government officials, amusement park operators, ride manufacturers, and industry suppliers.
- The committee establishes standards on design and manufacture, testing, operation, maintenance, inspection, quality assurance, and more.
- These standards undergo frequent review and revision to keep up with new technologies, and have been adopted by many governmental jurisdictions.
- Amusement parks are subject to state and local governmental codes, requirements, and safety inspections, and must pass rigorous inspections by insurance companies.
- If regulations in specific states need to be augmented, IAAPA encourages such action and recommend using the detailed ASTM International ride safety standards as the basis of any regulations.
- Amusement park staff follow detailed manufacturer guidelines for inspection and safety, and many parks use outside specialty companies to periodically re-inspect rides. These inspections take place on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
- ASTM International standards require fixed-site amusement industry operators and manufacturers report both incidents and ride-related defects, including notification of facilities when a ride develops a manufacturer-related safety issue.
States are Best Equipped to Regulate the Amusement Park Industry. There is no evidence federal oversight would improve on the already excellent safety record of the amusement park industry.
- Currently 44 of 50 states regulate amusement parks. The six without state oversight are Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah. These states contain few, if any amusement parks (Wyoming has no parks).
- Then-Congressman Ed Markey convened a panel of leading doctors, biodynamic consultants, medical experts, and ride safety specialists to study the amusement park industry's safety record.The panel concluded it is unlikely that a federal agency could match the effectiveness of the current system.
- Relevant data consistently shows only a small percentage of incidents that do occur are caused by factors subject to governmental ride operations oversight, namely either staff or mechanical error.
In 1981 the United States Congress examined the CPSC's authority to regulate fixed-site amusement rides.
- Like several court cases prior to that time, Congress determined that fixed-site amusement rides could not be considered household products, are not within the consumer’s control, and are constantly maintained by a team of experts.
- Congress concluded that the facility buys the product and the consumer buys the associated experience.
- The CPSC acknowledged any effort to expand the agency’s jurisdiction to include fixed-site amusement rides requires increasing the agency's staff and budget.
- Amusement parks continue to report incidents to state and local governments and partner with government officials and inspectors to ensure the safety of their guests.
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, fixed-site amusement rides are subject to one or more layers of independent examination: state and local government, insurance companies, and private safety firms.