Amusement Park Safety
Thursday, May 5, 2005
— benway @ 16:30
In the wake of a recent equipment failure at the Castles and Coasters amusement park in Phoenix (if you can call it that – it’s a glorified putt-putt golf outfit), a move is afoot at the state capitol to begin state inspection of amusement park rides (Arizona Red Star article).
In the Castles and Coasters “disaster,” eleven people were stranded on a ride for a few hours. No one was injured. Still, the state wants to stick its nose into the game and begin regulating amusement parks.
There are no major amusement parks in Arizona, although two large ventures are apparently planned. Currently, inspections are handled by insurance companies, who have a serious financial stake in maintaining the safety of the rides. Insurers can’t afford to have unsafe rides at their client’s amusement park. Compare that to the state, that has exactly what at stake?
When I was growing up in Phoenix in the 1970s, there was an amusement park called Legend City that had a horrible safety record. It seems to me that someone died there at least once a year. Half the fun of going there was not the thrill of the rides, but the thrill of tempting fate and escaping death. The park remained open year after year and people attended, despite the extremely well publicized accidents that continued to occur.
You might say, “that’s horrible – the park was killing people.”
Maybe so, but nobody forced anyone to attend. In fact, the two groups who had the most to lose, the insurers of Legend City and the park attendees, willingly continued to do business with the park. They made their own decisions.
The state did not need to be involved with Legend City. It doesn’t need to be involved in amusment parks now.
The only way to reverse the constant growth of government and its intrusion into our daily lives is for us to stop asking and allowing the state to take care of us. We are not children. We can take care of ourselves and make our own decisions.