With the onset of spring we look forward to a variety of activities we may not have been able to enjoy for months. Bike riding, kite flying, boating and - yes - even a day at the fair (or carnival or amusement park). Unfortunately, a spate of problems has led to surprising and unexpected deaths - and may cause people to reconsider this as a choice of leisure time activity.
In an eastern coastal state a passenger train ride carrying nearly two dozen passengers derailed causing the train to overturn and kill a young male passenger. Based on reports, first indications were that an area of the track that had been repaired on several occasions was flawed - resulting in the accident.
And right here in Houston at a local carnival a man fell nearly thirty feet to his death from a roller coaster. Initial inspections did not uncover any obvious problems with the equipment. It certainly gives one reason to pause before getting onto an amusement park ride of any kind.
The truth is that just like every other budget across the country - the inspection of small carnivals, rides and operators do not occur with the same regularity or thoroughness they did several years ago - because (in large part) of constraints on the monies available to oversee these activities.
Anyone who wants to cut back in our state and federal governments ability to regulate safety- will see-if they have their way- a rise in accidents that could have been prevented.
It would seem that instead, we are relying on the integrity of the carnival owner to ensure the safety of the public - and we can see how that's working out.
Perhaps a better choice for a weekend activity is to take a long walk or pack a picnic lunch. At least in that way you are not putting your own safety and that of your family in the hands of a stranger.