Public Worries about Safety of Amusement Park Rides

October 17, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. scrutinize / ˈskrut nˌaɪz / (v.) – to carefully examine
Example: Some people scrutinized the safety of the amusement park.

2. implement / ˈɪm pləˌmɛnt / (v.) – to put into action or to execute a plan
Example: We need to implement changes in our safety regulations.

3. mandatory / ˈmæn dəˌtɔr i / (adj.) – required to be done or performed
Example: Daily inspection of rides should be mandatory in amusement parks.

4. jurisdiction / ˌdʒʊər ɪsˈdɪk ʃən / (n.) – authority or power
Example: New York policemen have jurisdiction over the entire city.

5. fatal / ˈfeɪt l / (adj.) – deadly
Example: Amusement parks should have stricter regulations for possibly fatal rides.


Read the text below.
The safety of amusement park rides in the United States is being scrutinized after a series of reported accidents.

In the United States, more than a thousand ride-related injuries get reported annually. In 2015 alone, more than 30,000 people were sent to emergency rooms due to accidents.

The safety regulations of rides depend on which state the amusement park is in. Inspections also vary. States like New Jersey and Pennsylvania have tough routine inspections, while others like Nevada and Mississippi do not have laws for inspecting ride safety. Critics say that the government must set a uniform standard for ride safety across all states.

But currently, different organizations are conducting safety inspections depending on the type of park where the ride is located. State and local agencies inspect fixed-site parks, while the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is in charge of temporary parks.

The commission implements safety standards for park rides but following them is voluntary and not mandatory. They claim that they are understaffed and that too many fairs remain under their jurisdiction only for a short period.

In August, the son of a Kansas state official suffered a fatal injury after riding the world’s tallest waterslide. In the same week, three girls fell from a Ferris Wheel, which caused head injuries and a broken arm. In a separate accident, a boy fell from a roller coaster. The ride, built in 1938, did not have any seat belts but passed the inspection conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Currently, no agency gathers data on amusement park accidents. Experts believe that the country needs a national approach to get accurate data in order to come up with solutions.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Who should take responsibility for amusement park accidents? Explain.
·         What are other safety measures that amusement parks should implement?

Discussion B

·         How can accurate data about accidents help in resolving safety issues in amusement parks?
·         Do you think there should be one uniform standard for checking ride safety? Discuss.

October 17, 2016