Thursday, July 03, 2008

Do Parks Need a "Sonar Perimeter Fence"?

There's been a lot of talk this week about the horrible incident that happened at Six Flags Over Georgia.

A teenage kid and his buddy hopped over two six-foot tall security fences and entered the restricted area of "Batman: The Ride."

It's not entirely clear why they did this, but in the end it doesn't really matter. One of the kids paid for this mistake with his life.

It's been interesting to read the various reactions to this. In fact, there's a good conversation going on in the forums.

Most sane people blame the kid for an obvious lapse of judgement. He chose to ignore the signs warning him of the danger involved with trespassing in that area. It's not like he accidentally wandered into this obviously dangerous place.

But amazingly, some commentators (and lawyers) have said that Six Flags needed to do more to discourage people from entering this restricted zone. Somehow, they have shifted the blame for this onto the park itself!

The simple rule of theme parks is this: If a guest stays on the paths, behaves on the rides and follows the park rules, odds are they're going to survive the day.

But what does Six Flags have to do, invent a Sonar Perimeter Fence that the one we saw on "Lost?"

(Scratch that idea, the lawyers would definitely have a problem with that.)

When we're kids, we think we're invincible. We think we can outrun danger, dodge bullets and in this case, dodge a 50mph roller coaster.

This is a terrible situation, but it serves as a reminder to us all that even though we may feel invincible.... we need to follow the rules.

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