How many people have to die, or sustain serious injury from amusement park rides before the federal government steps in and regulates the amusement park industry? Rosy Esparza’s family had every right to believe that she would return from the Texas Giant roller coaster without harm or injury. However, Esparza fell to her death on the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas. Incidents like this are sadly becoming a more common event in the United States at amusement and waterparks. In fact, the number of fatalities per passenger mile on roller coasters is greater than the amount of tragedies on passenger trains, passenger buses, or passenger planes. These tragedies often occur because the rides are not independently inspected, inspections are not done frequently enough, accidents are not made public and the accidents are investigated by the parks. The federal government needs to create national safety standards for all rides at amusement parks, so that every amusement park patron can enjoy the park as it is intended without fear of injury or death.
Less than three months after the death of Esparza the Texas Giant has been re-opened , and back in full operation. The roller coaster underwent extensive testing, and received approval from the Texas Department of Insurance to resume operations, however the findings of the testing are not available to the public due to ongoing litigation. Even though Texas Six Flags has claimed no fault for the Esparza accident; the park has added incremental and overlapping safety features. These safety features include redesigned restraint-bar pads and new seat belts. So the question is, are the department of insurance officials, who inspected this ride in the past, sufficient enough to make sure these rides are safe for future riders?
Amusement park rides should be inspected by an independent third party, which has no financial interest in the amusement park. Having the insurance company inspect the...
Cited: Moser, Jeff. “Family sues over Texas Giant death on the same day Six Flags says it will reopen ride.” The Dallas Morning News September 10, 2013: Newspaper Source. Web. 31 Oct. 2013
Pataro, Luca. "Scary rides, scary risks: more than 300 million people visit U.S. amusement facilities and safely enjoy 1.8 billion rides each year. But for a small number of thrill-seekers, good times can become a matter of life and death." Risk Management. Aug. 2007: 50+. Biography In Context. Web. 26 Oct. 2013.
Watson, Stephen T. "Recent tragedies strap in safety as peak concern." Buffalo News, The (NY) 23 Aug. 2011: Newspaper Source. Web. 26 Oct. 2013
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