Operational Issues

Operational issues have big impact on patron safety.  Company policies vary widely from park to park and carnival to carnival. Regulatory oversight of operator hiring and training policies varies by state. 

Consumer Tips

  • Never board an amusement ride if you feel uneasy about the way it’s being operated. If the ride attendants look young, immature, or inattentive, choose another ride.
  • Always follow the rules posted on the ride and the instructions given by operators. No exceptions.
  • Treat operators and attendants with respect. Teach your children to view them as lifeguards because that’s what they are, even if their theme park bosses happen to dress them up like Tyrolean elves.
  • Never pressure a ride attendant to break a rule for you or your child. Height, weight, and health restrictions are set for your benefit. If you put your kindergartner in platform shoes to sneak her on a ride she’s too short for, you’re risking her life. No kidding. If something goes wrong, you will regret that impulse.
  • If you notice that the attendants are ignoring posted minimum height limits and allowing smaller riders on board, they’re not taking the job seriously. If they’re willing to put those small riders’ lives at risk, they’re likely to be as cavalier about your safety too.
  • If you have trouble communicating with a ride operator, think twice before boarding the ride. If something goes wrong, you’ll want someone in charge who can give you clear instructions and can understand what you are saying.
  • If it looks like the attendants on a particular ride are spread too thin for safety, choose another ride. If the ride operator is also the ticket taker, the height checker, and the queue manager, he may not be able to give his full attention to the machinery and the riders.
  • If a ride operator or attendant is inebriated, report it immediately to security staff or police.


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