British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

April 24, 2008 17:35 ET

British Columbia Safety Authority: Amusement Rides-Exhilarating, Exciting and Safe

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 24, 2008) - It's that time of year when travelling carnivals and amusement parks are starting up the cotton candy machines, carousels, midways and the Ferris wheels, and all the other rides that amuse, entertain and send us screaming up, around and down their tracks.

"Despite the shaking, rattling and hairpin turns, they are safe -- especially when they are installed, operated and enjoyed properly," according to Greg Paddon, the BC Safety Authority's Provincial Safety Manager for Amusement Rides.

The BC Safety Authority regulates the amusement rides industry in the province and is responsible for overseeing their safe installation and making sure they are being operated according to provincial regulations and codes.

Riders have a responsibility for safety as well, because when incidents occur, they often caused by a person not paying attention or not following the rules of the ride, stressed Paddon.

The Safety Authority offers these five tips so you will enjoy all the exhilaration of your favourite ride, and be safe as well.

1. Follow the rules: The rules of operation, and any age, height or weight restrictions, are posted at every ride. Please read and follow them - they are there for your safety.

2. Stay seated, and use your hands: Take your seat as soon as you get on the ride, fasten your seatbelt, lap bar or restraining device, and remain seated when the ride starts and until it comes to a complete stop. Your hands are for holding on to the safety bar, handholds, or lap bars during the entire ride. Keep them inside the ride at all times. (That goes for your legs and feet as well.)

3. If it's loose, you'll lose it: Do not bring any loose articles - such as purses, bags, backpacks, or jackets - with you on the ride. Chances are you'll lose them. Leave them on the ground with a trusted friend or family member.

4. Your health comes first: Many rides can aggravate a pre-existing medical condition. So if you suffer from motion sickness, seizures, dizziness, or have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or a neck or back disorder, take a pass on the ride. Do not go on a ride if you are pregnant.

5. It's okay to be scared: Some people - whatever their age - are frightened by many or all rides. Making fun of them, or pushing them to go on a ride when they don't want to, is a form of bullying. This is very important if you are a parent: please don't make your child go on a ride if he or she is scared. Instead, let them enjoy the kiddies' rides. They'll have a lot more fun.

"We believe safety is a right not an option, and one way to achieve this is by educating the public and operators about their rights and responsibilities," said Paddon, noting there are more than 375 amusement rides and devices in BC.

The British Columbia Safety Authority is an independent, self-funded corporation that inspires safety excellence in British Columbia by partnering with business, industry and the general public to enhance the safety of technical systems, products, equipment and work.

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