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T-Bar Restraints Banned in Massachusetts

Six Flags New England: Massachusetts reacts to the recent death at Six Flags New England by ordering theme and amusement parks to replace T-Bar-style restraints.

From Jason Herrera
Posted May 7, 2004 at 11:45 AM
T-Bar Restraints Banned in MA

Interesting stuff...wonder if T-Bars are banned on all Intamin rides?

If you're another amusement venue with an Intamin and a T-Bar restraint...you're playing with the safety of your guest by not looking into the implementation of a newer restraint. The 5-point harness isn't the answer either. That type of restraint doubles wait times. Good idea, but horrible implementation.

And for goodness sakes, keep this topic civil. Let's have some compassion for the recently deceased. None of this, "this guy was a moron," or, " this guy was turned away before so it's his fault." I've come across some of you enthusiast and you have no room to talk. So keep it civil!!

Thoughts?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Kenny Hitt
Posted May 7, 2004 at 12:37 PM
I can't say I disagree. Lap bars are fine for wooden coasters and less intense steel coasters, but for a HYPERCOASTER? It just seems completely wrong, especially with those massive negative g-forces you get coming over hills.

From Russell Meyer
Posted May 7, 2004 at 12:56 PM
I don't think it's the restraint as much as it is the angle of the seat. The Intamin seats are more or less straight up and down with only about 8 inches between the base of the seat and the hinge of the bar. That geometry only provides a small angle (about 25-40 degrees) for the restraint to close. The B&M clamshells are a rather similar design, but the geometry is much better. The hinge of the bar is about 24 inches away from the base of a somewhat reclined seat. This provides an angle of closure of over 45 degrees depending on the girth of the rider, and there is also is a minimum restrain angle that the bar must reach in order for the train to be dispatched.

It's pretty simple geometry with the T-bars. They can either lower and recline the seats, raise the hinge of the bar, or come up with a whole new restraint system altogether. These accidents should make us all thank the Cedar Point staff for stapling riders into Millenium Force as painful as it may be.

From Matt Rogers
Posted May 7, 2004 at 5:45 PM
Why shorten seatbelts just in the front seats of each car? What is the difference in the front and rear seats? I think the lap bars should b changed to the type that is on Goliath.

From Jet Nitro
Posted May 8, 2004 at 6:24 AM
Matt,you make a good point. I ride titan(Goliaths bigger brother) every weekend and I prefer the restrain system on that ride compaired to an older ride restraint system such as on Texas Giant. To be honest,Five Point Restraints are really not an option on existing ride systems as you would have to completly retrofit each and every car in a park. The cost alone would put major park chains in futher debt than they are now.

From Derek Potter
Posted May 10, 2004 at 12:49 PM
I disagree with the statement about parks playing with the safety of guests by using the T Bar.
As an enthusiast who rides coasters safely and doesn't cheat restraints, and also as one who has ridden many times over the biggest and fastest coasters that Intamin has to offer, I think that the Intamin train and all of it's restraints is one of the best in the business. The restraints need to be tight on these coasters, so the seats are theater style bucket seats that sit comfortably and give room while also enabling the train to have open air sides. When it comes to safety and comfort, there are few that match up to Intamin's standard. As a big guy (6'3" 230) who has been stapled into Millennium Force trains many times, I find the Intamin Train effective and comfortable even when the restraints are that tight, and make no mistake....when you go 300 ft and 95 mph you need to have tight restraints. The coasters of today have much more intense and forceful elements, so a loose restraint is something that should not happen.

The Mass report on Superman placed the bulk of the responsibility on the ride ops that were working the coaster. It is their job to use discretion and determine if a rider is suitable to ride. It is also their job to make sure that all restraints are tight and locked, which according to eyewitnesses, were not. The restraint itself didn't malfunction according to the report, but the ride ops should never have allowed him on the ride in the first place. We should be looking at things like park policy on riders and training of ride ops rather than a style of restraint that never really failed in the first place.

From Robert OGrosky
Posted May 10, 2004 at 8:40 PM
I would agree with Derek. I think the restraints are fine but employee's need to be better trained on who can and cant ride certain rides. Be it this accident or perilous plunge as examples or even the death on the The Giant Drop several yrs ago at SFGAM were examples of people who shouldnt have been allowed due to medical/physcial conditions. I guess the parks are worried about being sued for ada reasons than the potential death/injury to their customers.
If that ass rep. markey wants to accomplish something regarding rider safety why doesnt he let theme parks be exmept from ada rules when it comes to who can or cant ride a cetain ride.

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