Focus on the important stuff, Shaprio, like not injuring (or killing) your customer base.
As for the $1,000 fine, it is a complete joke. However, with SF's current financial situation, even that low amount is like squeezing blood from a turnip.
Safety was number 1 for us at the time, above all else. Ride Ops safety checklists were required and often critiqued by supervisors and above.
Every morning the maintence crews, mechanical, electrical, and electronic, could be seen doing their tests, and sometimes would not release the ride to Rides until they has completed some repair.
Safety is a culture, not a training requirement or a policy. As a culture everyone recognizes they are working on industrial-scale machines that can kill or injure when not maintained or used as designed.
If the crews and techs are NOT living safety-first then these things are bound to continue.
People who take pride in their work not only keep their guests safe... they create the kind of environments that people *want* to visit, and will pay to do so, again and again.
I tend to see things like this not as a single person's fault (although that may technically be the case here), but perhaps the result of a culture that had been around for a while. Not assuming here or accusing anyone at all, but I speculate that perhaps the ride ops present during the accident weren't properly trained or monitored by someone else. Perhaps there was a little too much cost cutting in the wrong place. Perhaps the priorities weren't quite where they should have been. It's unfortunate that this happened, and also that it probably could have been prevented.
I'm not sure what the guidelines are for fines. The $1,000 fine perhaps could have been a mercy ruling, because you know that the family will be getting or has gotten paid big for this.