Almost 31,000 people end up in the emergency room from injuries suffered at amusement parks and theme parks. Many are minor, some are catastrophic. But one thing they have in common…no federal regulation.
The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission only oversees mobile amusements such as carnivals. That means that fixed-site or permanent amusements (like Disney, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, Universal) are inspected or regulated by the states, if they so choose. And in any manner the state chooses.
With the pull back of safety regulations by the government, it is expected that there will be more incidents causing more injuries. Summer is the most active time at amusement parks, filled with out-of-school children and vacationers trying to take in some fun. Many states regulate and inspect amusement parks, but at least six (Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah) have no regulation at all. And in one case in Texas, operator Six Flags was in charge of investigating its own accident which caused the death of a woman.