Kentucky lawmakers are taking steps aimed at improving the safety of amusement rides in the wake of a tragic accident last year that severed the feet of a girl at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky. A Senate committee has approved legislation that bars anyone younger than 18 or anyone under the influence of alcohol from operating amusement rides. The measure would also require amusement ride operators in Kentucky to inspect rides each day before opening for business.
The move comes less than a year after a cable snapped on the Superman Tower of Power ride, severing the feet of 14-year-old Kaitlyn Lasitter of Louisville. Doctors were able to reattach the girl’s right foot. Kaitlyn and her family are suing Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, claiming the park failed to maintain the ride and equipment and ensure riders’ safety. The amusement park has denied liability in the accident. State officials said an operator of the Louisville ride when the accident occurred was 16 years old. The ride was permanently closed after the accident and is being dismantled.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture, which inspects amusement park rides, is waiting on tests on a cable from the ride to determine what caused it to snap. Once the tests are complete, the Agriculture Department plans to release findings from its investigation into the accident. The State of Kentucky had 32 amusement ride accidents reported last year. In eight of the cases, the injuries required the victims to be treated at hospitals. Among other provisions of the proposal, maximum fines for violations of amusement ride safety laws and regulations would increase from $1,000 to $10,000.
All states should strengthen existing laws that deal with safety at amusement parks and those that have no such laws should enact them. The summer months, when children will be out of school, will soon be here. While it’s late in the game, any state legislature that is in session – including Alabama’s – should take action in this area of concern.
Source: Claims Journal
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