Orlando Amusement Park tragedy – After a 14-year-old died from a free-fall ride at ICON park, safety experts have reportedly called for “federal oversight’ of the Orlando based amusement parks.
“In an effort to gain a better understanding of the larger issue of regulation in the amusement park industry, CNN examined safety reports and spoke with experts about park operations and why they don’t have federal oversight,” CNN Tweeted.
On March 24, a 14-year-old Tyre Sampson died after falling from a free-fall ride at ICON park in Orlando, Florida.
While Florida complies with the amusement park security regulations, some other states have no rules and standards for the safety of their amusement park rides.
Ride safety expert Brian Avery of the University of Florida said to Fox News that ‘something that needs to be changed.’
“This was taped with video, and, you know, it’s really resonated with the public saying, OK, stop, something’s got to change. We have standards and practices and whatnot that could have addressed this in a meaningful way to prevent it. Why the inconsistencies? And I think that’s why we’re at this point where we’re asking about why we don’t have federal oversight.”
Avery further sheds light on the fact that the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has some mobile amusement parks regulations. However, they do not have any rules on fixed amusement parks.
In 2007, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., funded legislation that would have allowed federal safety oversight over fixed rides of the amusement parks if it had not failed to pass.
While some independent organizations do a pretty good job by self-regulating the rides to keep the individuals safe, “there is resistance to federal oversight,” said Avery.
“There is a belief that you know, some do it better than others. Therefore, why would I have to comply with some sort of federal oversight when I’m doing a fine enough job on my own,” he said.
Avery stated that ASTM International, which publishes international standards for a wide range of materials, provides safety standards for fixed park rides as well. Some parks seem to have partially adopted it, and some fell even below it and “we need a baseline” he added to his statement.
“I would subscribe to most of the larger parks do go above and beyond ASTM anyways, but there are others that don’t and they fall below those standards. And I think it would be prudent to have at least a minimum consensus with respect to the standards at a federal level so that everyone knew, no matter what state you’re in. These are the basics that you must follow,” he said.