December 4, 2007
The Post on CPSC Oversight of Amusement Park Rides
The Washington Post has a lengthy story about the proposalto put fixed-site amusement parks under the CPSC's regulatory authority. (The agency presently has oversight of traveling rides but not fixed-site rides.) Other than the title (which is a somewhat silly "On Thrill Rides, Safety is Optional"), it's a good exploration of the issue's status.
I wrote more about the proposal and my views of it here.
Update: Chad Emerson (Faulkner) is unimpressed by the article. I think his concerns with the Post's characterization of states' regulatory schemes is partially semantic (what counts as scattershot? should insurance requirements count as regulation? what about reporting requirements?), but he's right that the article doesn't do a great job of explaining what regulations do exist.
As for the assertion that Rep. Markey is attempting to federalize the regulation of fixed-site rides, I've noted before that nothing in the legislation would preempt state regulation. The primary thing that the CPSC does with traveling rides is investigate accidents after accidents; that's the same thing that would happen under this legislation with fixed-site rides. The inspection and certification process would remain, if anywhere, with states.
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