UNITED STATES—By now, I’m certain many of you have heard about the tragedy that transpired at an Ohio county fair last week. I couldn’t believe how many people were enamored with passing that video around of that ride malfunctioning mid-air, people being ejected from the ride and an adult male being killed as a result. It is rare, but in the past year we have heard about more and more rides at amusement parks malfunctioning; some leading to injuries and others in death.
So it raises a very important question as a parent. How safe are rides at amusement parks and should more precautions be made to ensure the safety of all patrons at these parks. The answer to both questions is a resounding: YES! We all would like to believe that anytime we enter the amusement park that the so called attractions are safe, but we haven’t a clue.
I will be the first to admit it America, I am a thrill-seeker. I love the thrill of getting on attractions where you have no sense of control; your body is taken for a ride that delivers pure jubilation for 90 to 180 seconds. For me, I get that thrill from roller coasters. I’m not the biggest fan of those rides that toss you back and forth with no safety harness. I would argue I’m more skeptical about rides at a state fair versus an amusement park where I know things are not being taken down and transported from one city to the next.
Stop before all of you go bashing or telling me the dangers of amusement parks like Cedar Point, Six Flags, Disney World, Disney Land and Universal Studios. I totally know these parks have the same safety standards, as a county fair, my biggest argument is that I expect rides at amusement parks to be routinely checked on a daily basis, where at the county or state fairs I’m not so certain that is happening all the time. I think the biggest concerns for adults and parents is rather we are placing our lives at risk each time we decide to venture on these thrill excursions without fully knowing what is at stake.
I’m certain those individuals at that Ohio fair thought they were in safe hands, but when you least expect it, things that one could never expect can transpire. That happened in that situation, and I was literally baffled that the fair was opened not too soon after the incident transpired, but none of the rides were open. You just had a tragedy transpire, I get you have a business to operate, but why even open back up until a full investigation has been completed, each and every ride at the park has been inspected for 100 percent confirmation they are safe and you can somewhat put the patrons at ease.
That’s the problem right there people. I don’t think you can ease the concern of riders and patrons when an event of such a high magnitude transpires. There will always be that fear that something like this can happen again, in the near future or with another ride. I cannot tell you the horror stories about roller coasters that I have gotten on that have stalled mid-way up the hill or while upside down. Yes, it has happened to me and scared the living crap out of me. That is the danger with any ride, its physics and mechanics at play and a malfunction is always possible, no matter how many times you have tested or ensured the safety of the ride.
The only argument I can present is if you have a fear that your gut doesn’t allow to go away its best to not get on the ride. Even more so for parents who are concerned about the safety for their children! If you don’t want your child to go on the ride out of safety concerns, no need to argue with the child, you’ve made your decision and it’s your job as a parent to ensure their safety, even if they disagree with your decision. Amusement parks can be fun, but no one can promise 100 percent safety on any ride, we’d like to believe so, but anytime you get on a ride a malfunction is always possible.