Who ensures amusement rides are safe?
In less than a week, a boy died and others were injured in four amusement park accidents across the United States. Even though some of the rides were reportedly inspected weeks and even days before the incidents, the accidents highlight the inconsistencies in amusement park oversight. Under lobbying by amusement parks, Congress ended federal regulation of the rides 35 years ago. Safety is now left up to widely varying state and local laws.
Class discussion: When you go to an amusement park, do you assume all the rides are safe? Do the recent accidents make you wary of the rides? Do you trust inspectors who are paid by the amusement park operators? Business executives often complain that health and safety regulations are just too expensive. Are you willing to pay more for a car, or food or to go to an amusement park to cover the cost of complying with health and safety regulations? If so, how much more are you willing to pay?
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