In Illinois, as in most states this time of year, thousands of families flock to amusement parks, carnivals and entertainment centers for the main attraction: roller coasters. Parents spend millions of dollars every year to allow their children, often young children, the thrill of amusement rides, including roller coasters. In return they expect one thing: that the rides are safe.
Parents rely on roller coaster manufacturers, park owners, operators and government regulators to ensure that the rides offered to our children are safe.
However, as a recent Chicago Tribune investigation uncovered, there is hardly any governmental oversight to ensure that roller coasters in Illinois are, in fact, safe for small children. Rather, ride manufacturers are essentially left to their own discretion on how to design and operate their rides.
Compared to other states, Illinois inspectors do not evaluate the safety of a ride’s design. They do not evaluate the safety of restraints — seat belts or other restraints designed to keep children from falling out of the roller coaster. They do not evaluate the safety of height requirements.
The Tribune article noted several recent incidents in which young children were killed after falling from a poorly restrained amusement park. Clearly, stronger safety regulations and oversight is required to prevent these sort of tragic incidents from occurring.
To speak with a top Chicago personal injury lawyer with Passen Law Group regarding an amusement park injury or death, call us at 312-527-4500.