How safe can the summer of '09 be at America's theme parks?
By Robert NilesThat's the question - and the challenge - that I have today, not just for the nation's theme parks, but for the fans who visit them, as well.
Published: May 4, 2009 at 11:20 AM
We've long been advocates for theme park safety, here at Theme Park Insider. In 2001, we created Accident Watch, which empowered readers to track injury accidents at top theme and amusement parks, information which at that time was not being collected by any government agencies at the U.S. federal or state level. (A little trivia: that feature won an Online Journalism Award from Columbia University and the Online News Association, making the first time a major journalism award was given to a "crowdsourced" online feature, reported and written by readers.)
After tracking hundreds of accidents at parks in the United States and around the world, plus my five years' experience working as an attractions operator, it's become apparent to me that the vast majority of injury accidents at theme parks could be prevented, and often by the people injured themselves.
So let's do that.
Let's make 2009 a summer when no person under the age of 21 dies at a U.S. theme park. With help from many Theme Park Insider readers, I've compiled a list of Top 10 theme park safety tips, and I'm asking everyone to read them before your next theme park visit. And to forward these tips to family and friends, too.
More than that, I'm today asking all U.S. theme and amusement parks to publish these (or comparable) safety tips on their websites, with a link from the front page of their sites. Plus, to put safety tips in a prominent location on their free park guidemaps as well.
The biggest traffic days at ThemeParkInsider.com each year are the ones when someone loses his or her life at a theme park. While I love welcoming new visitors to the TPI community, I don't want to see any more traffic surges for that reason again. I want this site to be filled with talk of vacations, thrills, storytelling, and good-natured debate among fans. None of us want to see any more stories about tragedy.
So let us, all, do what we can to prevent it. I invite TPI readers to tell us what they are doing to help make their theme park visits safe. And I invite theme park representative to come on the site and tell us what they've done to accept our challenge, to help spread the word about how to stay safe at theme and amusement parks.
Again, here's the link: Top 10 theme park safety tips
Let's have a great summer.
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