Holidaymakers visiting Butlins Holiday Camps this summer could find themselves having an easy ride on the bumper cars.
Due to health and safety regulations, the operator has informed staff at its Minehead, Skegness and Bognor Regis resorts that they must stop people from actually bumping into each other on the Dodgems, to prevent the risk of injury.
Guests will now have to ride round in the same direction, carefully avoiding hitting any other cars and will also face a bumper car driving ban if they are seen to break the rule.
Resort director for Butlins, Jeremy Pardey has stated that the rule has been put in place due to past injuries sustained by guests and defends the decision saying, “The point of our Dodgems is to dodge people, not to run into people.”
It is believed that the decision has been made as the company were concerned about possible liable cases if someone were injured on one of their rides, despite the fact that previous claims for injuries on Dodgems have not succeeded. Solicitors also confirmed that it would be very difficult to lay blame at a Dodgem car rider with the speed of impact highly unlikely to cause serious damage.
The story first came to light after a Daily Telegraph journalist spent his Easter break at one of the resorts and told how all the fun had been taken out of the ride, describing it as similar to ‘an endless roundabout’.
Ironically it was Billy Butlin himself who first introduced bumper cars to the UK in the 1920s when he bought the UK franchise of Dodgem Cars from the US. Whilst many fairground rides display ‘no bumping’ signs to comply with health and safety regulations, it is believed that Butlins are the first to actually ban people who flaunt the rule.