October 11, 1999
Washington, D.C. -- Last Wednesday a bill was introduced to Washington Lawmakers that would expand the government's authority to regulate theme park thrill rides.
The bill introduced by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) would give the Consumer Product Safety Commission the power to set standards for rides, perform safety inspections, investigate accidents, recall equipment and impose civil fines.
"Many states have failed to step in where the federal safety agency has been excluded," said Markey. The commission currently regulates thrill rides at traveling fairs and carnivals, but has no authority over rides at permanent amusement parks.
The commission recently reported that injuries from amusement park rides has risen over the last five years. But sources in the amusement park industry dispute the commissions' claims, saying that the increase is a result of a change in the way the injury data was collected.