A terrible tragedy in New Jersey has prompted concerns about amusement park safety nationwide. Earlier this month, Abiah Jones, 11, fell about 100 feet from a moving Ferris wheel at the Mariner's Landing Pier. Jones was on a school trip and was riding alone when the incident happened.
So how is Lubbock's amusement park, Joyland, ensuring your child is safe on rides?
David Dean has owned and operated Joyland for 38 years, and the park has been in his family for 63 years without a single incident.
"Texas qualifies an injury as a person who has to spend the night in a hospital. We are fortunate we have never had to send a guest to the hospital," said Dean.
Dean and his crew are proud of their safety record. The crew works hard to maintain more than 30 rides and attractions in the park. They check for cracks and loose ends, he says, and they fix whatever needs to be fixed on a daily basis.
For instance, the Dare Devil ride needs to have the cables, seatbelts and everything else underneath checked.
"There are permanent magnets to slow the ride down, so if you have a power outage it doesn't make any difference," said Dean.
When it comes to riding the drop tower or coaster, there are strict safety requirements.
"Various rides have various height requirements as you can imagine. For the Musik Express the minimum ride is 48 inches," said Dean.
Even if a child fits the requirements, would they be old enough to ride alone?
"Yes, they would be big enough to ride because you're really going off of size and not necessarily off of age," said Dean.
However, Jones was the right height and was old enough to ride alone. The Ferris wheel she was on does not require a seatbelt and neither do some rides at Joyland. That's why Dean stresses for others to abide by the rules.
"Standing up on rides can be extremely dangerous and it could be hazardous or fatal like in that case," said Dean.
Interesting enough, Joyland operates year around. In the winter when they are closed they disassemble rides and fix them.
For more information go to http://joylandpark.com/
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