Amusement park safety regulations are an important oversight of amusement parks. Every year, millions attend these fun-filled attractions, many of them with young children and the disabled in accompaniment. Regardless of background or status though, everyone expects to have a good, safe time. This is much because of safety regulations.
Safety regulation has come under intensified scrutiny as of late, as a statistically, relatively low-risk industry has seen an uptick in tragedies recently. This recent flurry has even included the death of a legislator’s son. So, how exactly is safety regulated in this industry of thrills and excitement?
As with all other businesses and industries, personal accountability is regulated and enforced by civil law. Reasonable believability is all that needs to be shown in order for a court to issue stunning, multi-million dollar awards to injured parties. This is more of a kind of indirect yet effective regulation with regards to the safety of the amusement park industry.
Another indirect yet extremely convincing facet of regulation comes in the form of criminal liability. Should an individual or group within this type of establishment conspire or commit acts that are considered criminal, law enforcement can get involved. This is quite rare, but it is a very real possibility for those within the industry that consider crossing the line.
Insurance parameters are a third and final, indirect regulator of amusement park safety. Every amusement park is required by law to carry continuous insurance for the entirety of its operation. This requirement sees the amusement park ownership as an insurance shopper. Shopping for and keeping such insurance can thus become quite pricey or even impossible when safety risks or incidents climb too much at the park.
Direct applications of amusement park safety regulations depend greatly on the location of the park’s physical operation. Until 1981, the federal government held regulatory power over all amusement park operations in the United States. This power was then disbanded and accredited to the states’ individual and growing lists of responsibilities.
Because of these regulatory changes, each state became responsible for its own amusement parks and safety regulations therein. This system worked fairly well in these earlier times of amusement parks, but as parks grew and technology expanded, so too did risk and thrill levels. To this day, 44 states regulate park safety via their own governmental devices and divisions. Six states are absent of state regulation.
For all parks in general as well as those not overseen by state regulatory devices, the passage of time has seen a rise in the number of official organizations dedicated to universal standards and regulation. Once having never existed, these groups seek to hold all amusement park establishments to a universal level of accountability and accreditation. Such groups include ASTM, IAAPA, Safeparks.org, and AmusementSafety.org. Falling from the good graces of these organizations is a quick way to ruin for any park. Abiding by them and maintaining active accreditations and memberships requires adequate park safety and integrity.
Safety at the amusement park is important to the millions of visitors that attend them every year in addition to their friends and loved ones. In most cases, safety is extremely important to the individual park as well. Amusement park safety regulations and regulators such as those discussed here are a big part of that total cohesion and safe, consumer product.