Patchwork Regulation

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates traveling carnival rides, but it has no oversight at fixed amusement parks. The responsibility for monitoring amusement parks, including the nation's biggest theme parks, has fallen on states, where policies differ:

New York City's rides, including those at Coney Island, are exempted from any oversight.

Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Utah and Wyoming do not monitor their theme parks.

Arizona, Kansas and Tennessee do not require state inspections or accident investigations.

Florida law allows state regulators to visit big amusement parks only when the parks invite them, but not to inspect them.

California enacted a tough law calling for independent annual inspections and investigations of accidents on rides at fixed-site parks. But eight years after the measure was signed, it has yet to be fully implemented.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company