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I have to admit that even though I know better than to panic, especially since Anaconda is one of the only Arrow coasters to my knowledge that has seat belts that attach to the restraints, it still caught me off guard and just seemed odd that ride operators would be so careless.

 

Even if the ops missed checking your seat the ride does have a redundancy system built in that will not allow the train to dispatch with an unlocked restraint.

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I have to admit that even though I know better than to panic, especially since Anaconda is one of the only Arrow coasters to my knowledge that has seat belts that attach to the restraints, it still caught me off guard and just seemed odd that ride operators would be so careless.

 

Even if the ops missed checking your seat the ride does have a redundancy system built in that will not allow the train to dispatch with an unlocked restraint.

Yeah I was gonna say this. Same with the Drop Tower story that someone else shared. Even if they pressed the dispatch button, it wouldn't dispatch without all of the restraints properly locked. The button (I assume) would just do nothing, or flash some light that indicates that not all the restraints are properly secured.

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^^That's not true of all coasters, in fact only newer coasters. All the coasters except Maverick (newer) at CP don't do that. They are all able to dispatch with open restraints. In fact, I've seen the mechanics do it on Dragster many times. (I'm not sure why a ride like Anaconda would have a system like this, if you were just referring to that one coaster. Does it?)

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Probably the most terrible thing I ever saw was back in 2004 when some Rampage ride ops at Visionland transferred a baby stroller (with baby inside) over the tracks with the train coming back towards the station. If any of you know how fast Rampage comes towards the final brakes, you see that this is probably not the best idea.

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Just to pint out, there is a big difference between a restraint being open and a restraint being unlocked. Older coaster that don't require restraints be down so far CAN be dispatched with restraints fully open, but they do have to be locked and would fall into place along the course.

 

Being a supervisor, I have seen my share of foul ups. For some reason I never seem to see ride ops make major mistakes/laziness twice

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Earlier this summer I was making a quick trip to Martin's Fantasy Island. While queueing in Silver Comet's station I witnessed an employee jump the tracks while the train was entering the station. If he fell he could have easily been hurt by the station brakes or the train itself. Nobody else seemed to care but I thought it was reckless.

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One of the ride ops on a "Ring of Fire" ride at my local fair was checking the cage locks while the ride was moving (not at full speed, but still quite fast). At the same fair, this year, all the operators (well, at least 2) on the Fun Slide were high.... never thought that was safe.

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^ Seeing a mechanic dispatch a train with open restraints is meaningless. Maintenance has access to functions that regular employees don't. (I do know at Cedar Point though, the ops do have a lot more freedom with regard to maintenance functions than other parks though).

That is not my point. There actually isn't a physical or electrical mechanism on these coasters that sense whether the restraints are closed or not.

And to add onto an earlier post, I am referring to restraints being open yet locked. Not unlocked. Restraints can't be unlocked unless they are stationary in the station or with a battery pack or key.

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There isn't? I know that intamin's built earlier to Dragster has systems in place to monitor lapbar positions. RoS at Darien Lake has a system in place. I once witnessed an operator unable to dispatch because they could not get a lapbar closed enough on a heavy-set individual. I'm sure if a mega from 1999 has restraint monitoring a strata from 2003 would.

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^Was that added after the SFNE accident in 2004 though?

 

One thing I observed last year at Holiday World was Raven was running one train (since the other was on Voyage), and as soon as the train would dispatch the operators would cross the track to take loose articles from those about to board, cross back, and put them in the lockers. Not "unsafe" per say, but a big no-no basically everywhere else.

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^Good point about the 2004 accident... I'll look into that.

 

The track jumping I'm talking about occurred as the train was entering the station. As in, the train was parked where he jumped over probably no longer than 5 seconds after he crossed. Too risky in my opinion.

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^Oh I know. I've seen that too. The year the Elissa and Robb witnessed the baby stroller incident at Visionland was my first season working there, and that same year while working Rampage on of my "brilliant" co-workers at the time jumped across the track and slipped, but was caught by our third operator which is about the only thing that saved him from getting hit. Like Elissa said, that train enters the station pretty fast, and this occurred at the back of the station. Even if I had been able to hit E-stop in time he still would have been hit by the train. Luckily we have really made strides with our operators the past few seasons.

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^^Yeah, I noticed HW was a lot less strict about that. They never had to signal to controls for crossing, or even wait til the train parked. I was a little dumbstruck, but I guess they allow it if they're careful. I think it might have something to do with the fact that CP has so many employees it's hard to manage or even trust that many people...just a thought.

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I know that the topic at hand here are ride ops who aren't checking restraints properly or missing people, etc, but what about the ops that just don't care and don't check the restraints at all? Several parks I've been to this year come to mind, most recently being Lake Winnie where they didn't check the restraints on the drop tower, White Lightnin' or Cannonball, they just looked to make sure they were down (well, maybe ). Same on their Matterhon. Other parks where ops seem to have that practice this year include Lakeside and Funtown Splashtown where they could care less what you did in the bumper cars. Hell they didn't even check our restraints (at least on my train) on Superman during ERT @ DSB. Was their a need to? No, the ride tells them if the seats are secured or not. Were we at first a little shocked? Sure, but then as people who ride these things for a hobby knows, we were safe, B&M would not let us down or allow the train to dispatch with seats not registering as secured/locked.

 

Some parks check, some parks don't care, some ops check, some ops don't care. Did I feel less safe? No. Since many parks are self insured or least partially self insured, restraint checking is probably more for their benefit than the public and not really a necessity.

Edited by chadster
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I made a trip to Kings Dominion this summer and experienced one of the scariest/most careless things at an amusement park I have ever experienced in my life.

 

I was riding Anaconda and they had two attendants who were each checking one side of the train and a third running the control board. As far as I could tell what happened was, the attendant on the left side finished checking his side and gave a thumbs up. The one on the right got half way through the train and tried to signal the man behind the control board to unlock one of the cars. He saw this signal as a thumbs up and dispatched the train with half of the people still not having their restraints checked (myself included). The female who was checking the right side seemed to have frozen/started to panic and had trouble getting the man's attention. After a few seconds the female got his attention and the E-stop was pressed.

 

She finished checking the train and everything was fine, but it sure scared me half to death.

 

Has anyone else ever had a similar experience?

 

I wonder if it was the same crew that was running Flight of Fear when I went this summer, because they did the same thing when I rode that. First and only time in my life that's happened to me on an amusement park ride, coaster or otherwise.

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I can't remember which one, but it was one of the significantly large Miler coasters (I believe Scandia Screamer, but it may have been Hi Miler). Well, the restraints on the ride are manually operated by the operator, so they have to go to each car and lower the lapbar. When I was on it, the operator hit dispatch without doing this. Fortunately, everybody on the train screamed out, so he stopped it halfway out of the station and lowered all the bars, then sent the train. A bit scary, but if it was the Screamer the ride has seatbelts in addition to the lapbars so I doubt I would have gone anywhere.

 

As for restraint checking in general, every park I've been to with the exception of Disney and traveling carnivals has performed a physical restraint check on pretty much every ride. At Disney, with the exception of California Screamin' and Maliboomer (when they had it), they did a visual check then asked everyone to pull up on the bar/seatbelt. On those two rides, they typically do a physical check, probably due to maunfacturer requirements or because those are more intense than everything else at the park. At most carnivals, they just look from the sidelines to make sure the restraints actually came down (a lot of rides have self-lowering restraints), or walked around and latched empty seats while visually checking others.

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I have to admit that even though I know better than to panic, especially since Anaconda is one of the only Arrow coasters to my knowledge that has seat belts that attach to the restraints, it still caught me off guard and just seemed odd that ride operators would be so careless.

 

Even if the ops missed checking your seat the ride does have a redundancy system built in that will not allow the train to dispatch with an unlocked restraint.

Yeah I was gonna say this. Same with the Drop Tower story that someone else shared. Even if they pressed the dispatch button, it wouldn't dispatch without all of the restraints properly locked. The button (I assume) would just do nothing, or flash some light that indicates that not all the restraints are properly secured.

 

On most of the 2nd gen towers each section has a "section ready" button that the op has to press after checking seats on that particular side,along with a manual release for the restraints.

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This is not a ride-attendant foul-up, but when I was at CGA last August and got my Woodstock's Express credit, the lap bar popped open at the top of the lift hill before the drop. First of all, this ride has one of the most uncomfortable restraints and seats I have ever had to deal with. I have fit into other kiddie/junior coasters fine, but I barely fit into WE. First of all, I barely got the very short seat belt on (and I'm not even that big) after the ride op told me if the seat belt doesn't fit I can't ride (I'm glad she enforced this). Then I put down the lap bar, and at first thought the seat belt was redundant, but after the lap bar popped out I'm glad I had the seat belt on as back up. When the lap bar popped out, I simply put it back on and it locked on and I just held on to it for the remainder of the ride. I had aches for a few minutes after I was done with this ride from being in a cramped position on this ride. I later find out its a Intamin . Thank goodness Intamin's adult rides turned out much better. I'll never ride WE at CGA again, I give it an F. The scary thing about the lap bar popping open during the ride was imaging if it was a bigger coaster.

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My brother and I were riding the rainbow ride at the Miami Dade fair years ago and if you know the ride it just has those silver bars that go from vertical to horizontal,well we got sent up with the bars at about a 45 degree angle .Luckily my brother was on the corner seat and we started yelling at the attendant to stop the ride,which luckily he did before the ride really started going.

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