PublicSource
8:01 am
Wed August 14, 2013

PA’s Regulation of Amusement Parks Falls Short in Inspections, Enforcement

Permanent parks and water parks are required to file ride inspection reports every 30 days while they are open to the public. PublicSource analyzed reports provided by state regulators of the 117 permanent parks and water parks that were operating in Pennsylvania in 2012.
Permanent parks and water parks are required to file ride inspection reports every 30 days while they are open to the public. PublicSource analyzed reports provided by state regulators of the 117 permanent parks and water parks that were operating in Pennsylvania in 2012.
Credit Alexandra Kanik / PublicSource

Pennsylvania has more amusement park rides than any other state, with 9,300 registered rides. And its parks are unmatched in safety, Gov. Tom Corbett said in a June press release, because of the state’s rigorous ride-inspection program.

But a PublicSource investigation shows that the state agency that oversees amusement parks doesn’t track the safety inspection reports that parks are required by law to file each month they are open.

State records show that more than half of Pennsylvania’s permanent parks and water parks did not turn in all of their 2012 reports — affidavits in which certified inspectors attest that they’ve performed the inspections required by law. The agency had no reports at all for 12 of the state’s 117 permanent parks and water parks PublicSource analyzed.
 
Among the parks in the data are large amusement parks, such as Hersheypark with 80 rides, and smaller parks like The Fun Station in Gouldsboro, Pa., with just three, according to 2012 state registrations. Records show Hersheypark filed all its required reports last year. The Fun Station, in the Poconos, did not file any, according to records provided in response to a Right-To-Know request.

Read more of this story on the website of our partner PublicSource