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Title: Ride at Your Own Risk: An Analysis of State and Federal Amusement Regulations
Authors: Skelly, Michael
Advisors: Mas, Alexandre
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: In this thesis, I set out to propose regulatory alternatives to the current system of laws governing the amusement industry. In doing so, I compared the regulations of several states, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania, to evaluate the various methods of regulation currently in use. After examining the rates of serious injury, I determined that New Jersey has the safest regulations in place and, as such, their system should be copied nationwide. After this evaluation, I created a similar system that would incorporate most elements of New Jersey’s regulations while also making certain aspects tougher than New Jersey’s regulations. To evaluate the efficiency of the Skelly System, I conducted a regulatory impact analysis on my proposed regulations. In doing so, I utilized the Injury Cost Model of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to determine the benefits to be gained from my method of regulation. After putting a value to individual injuries, I created a range of best-guess estimates for how effective the regulations would be based on New Jersey’s effectiveness and then evaluated the benefits of preventing injuries. The difference between the assumed effectiveness and the current national injury rate was used to calculate the amount of injuries eliminated. After assigning a value to each injury, I calculated the total benefits of the Skelly System. To calculate the costs of implementing the legislation, I determined the cost of New Jersey’s department and extrapolated that cost to other states based on population. This method allowed me to determine a nationwide cost of implementation, which I could use to compare to the nationwide benefit of eliminating injuries. Overall, implementing the Skelly System was found to be cost-effective. As a result, I recommend that states adopt a form of New Jersey’s regulations, preferably the Skelly System. Implementing these regulations would allow states to better protect its citizens and help make the amusement industry even safer.
Extent: 86 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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