Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MisterSG1

Canada's Wonderland's WindSeeker - A Dangerous Distraction?

Recommended Posts

While the WindSeeker has been running since 2011, it's honestly a shock that Canada's Wonderland is able to get away with its over the top carnival style lights on that ride after dark.

The OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) have in the past quoted Drop Zone (yes the cops still call it that) as being a distraction to drivers as they are staring at the drop zone and not on the road, but they've yet to make a public comment to my knowledge regarding that ultra bright WindSeeker which will naturally take any driver's attention away for a second driving up or down Highway 400.

It's also incredibly rich considering how strict the MTO (Ministry of Transportation Ontario) is on simple billboard ads. There is ZERO advertising allowed within the right-of-ways of 400 series highways (basically Ontario's equivalent of the Interstate system) so plain billboards within the right-of-way are a no no. The big blue logo signs are allowed, but that's really the only kind of advertising you'll see that's legal here. Yet with all this, Canada's Wonderland is able to get away with WindSeeker's flashing lights.

I may need to remind everyone here that isn't familiar with Wonderland, is that the layout in regards to the park's position in terms of the freeway is opposite to that of Kings Island. At KI, the parking lot is right next to the freeway while at Wonderland, the freeway is next to the park, with WindSeeker fairly close to it. (Drop Zone on the other hand is at the other side of the park).

Is it possible, they could make the WindSeeker less of a distraction, like a solid color that isn't in your face like the flashy colors of WindSeeker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

They are LED Lights so the light patterns are endless, but could be set to a solid color. If they are able to use the changing pattern why wouldn't they?

The problem is driver distraction going up and down Highway 400. Moreso with southbound with the currently tricky construction zone in the area.

if the MTO thinks that simple ads along the roadway are that much of a distraction to drivers, why can Canada’s Wonderland get away with its flashy wind seeker. As I said in the past the police have pointed to Drop Zone as a distraction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kings Island is next to one of the busiest highways in the state of Ohio and I've never heard of any type of complaint from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Whenever I drive pass Kings Island, I was good a good view of the park and have never gotten in an accident doing so.

In Canada's Wonderland's case the cops are just complaining because something's existing. It's on Canada's Wonderland's property-not on the actual highway itself so I don't see a problem. That being said I don't know if the advertising laws in Canada are any different than in the US because over here some Billboards are more distracting than actual roller coasters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

Kings Island is next to one of the busiest highways in the state of Ohio and I've never heard of any type of complaint from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Whenever I drive pass Kings Island, I was good a good view of the park and have never gotten in an accident doing so.

In Canada's Wonderland's case the cops are just complaining because something's existing. It's on Canada's Wonderland's property-not on the actual highway itself so I don't see a problem. That being said I don't know if the advertising laws in Canada or any different than in the US because over here some Billboards are more distracting than actual roller coasters.

It may be one of Ohio’s busiest roads, but does it get close to the AADT of that section of the 400 close to Wonderland?

Between Rutherford Road and Major Mack, the two boundaries of Wonderland pretty much, the 400 has an AADT of 158,900. Before Rutherford road southbound, that section has 189,000 AADT. I can’t seem to get Ohio DOT’s AADT information as the page won’t load.

As I said, unlike Kings Island, Wonderland is right next to the highway. The WindSeeker is literally in your face as you try to concentrate on the road.

Rules regarding ads vary by state/province. I know the New York Thruway has a policy arguably just as strict as the one the MTO uses. Toronto’s downtown Expressway, the Gardiner Expressway is not run by the MTO but by the city of Toronto. Because of this, there are electronic billboards everywhere on that road. I mean in Ontario, you don’t see those sky high signs for fast food joints. They aren’t as strict about that in other parts of Canada though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, teenageninja said:

It looks like according to this site, http://traffic.oki.org/, right in front of Kings Island it is 72,338 AADT.  Can you supply your source saying it is 189,000 AADT, that seems pretty insane.

Will do, also check out some of the crazy AADTs on Highway 401, it's usually considered to be one of the busiest freeways in the world.

This is directly from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO),

http://www.raqsb.mto.gov.on.ca/techpubs/TrafficVolumes.nsf/3939fb2aad39e6538525792c0064ad64/f51986ea499a13b08525745f006dd30b/$FILE/Provincial Highways Traffic Volumes 2016 AADT Only.pdf

Page 38 of the PDF....or Page 32 of 55 of the actual document itself, you can see the AADT between Rutherford and Major Mack. For the record, Rutherford is the exit coming from the south to go to Wonderland.

 

55 minutes ago, flightoffear1996 said:

I wonder what they are doing about texting and driving in Canada. The cars I see in Ohio about 30% have a driver using a cell phone it seems.

In the Province of Ontario, it is $490 + 3 Demerit Points. I believe if you accumulate 15 demerit points you lose your license.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

I am a little confused why you are worried about WindSeekers LED lights if the city is not? 

First thing, the City of Vaughan would not be in charge of Highway 400 just as the City of Mason would not be responsible for I-71. Both of these roads are maintained by the state/province. Yes I-71 may be part of a federal system but each portion of interstate within any given state is a responsibility of that state.

Considering that an HOV lane widening is happening in this stretch that encompasses Wonderland, I have said it again, SB the construction zone is quite dangerous, and your attention should not be lost by the flashy WindSeeker. Perhaps if god forbid, we see a fatal accident, I think it's almost obvious that a big chunk of responsibility would have to rest on Wonderland.

Basically, if you are in a movie theater and they shut the lights off, and the person in front of you goes on their phone, no matter how good you are, it's psychological, you will inevitably stare at that source of light coming from the phone. It's the same deal with WindSeeker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off you asked if the LED package could be changed. I answered that I am pretty sure it can.

Second, I am also wondering why this bothers you so much if whomever is in charge of allowing the lights in the first place are not worried about it enough to request CW make any changes.

Lastly, how could CW be at fault for a fatality if CW is operating in compliance with whichever governing agency allowed the light package? CW is doing nothing wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If WindSeeker is problematic for freeway drivers, I would hate to see the horrors of a New Year's Eve firework show...if Wonderland got Winterfest. (crossthreading.)

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/7/2018 at 12:20 AM, MisterSG1 said:

It's also incredibly rich considering how strict the MTO (Ministry of Transportation Ontario) is on simple billboard ads. There is ZERO advertising allowed within the right-of-ways of 400 series highways (basically Ontario's equivalent of the Interstate system) so plain billboards within the right-of-way are a no no. The big blue logo signs are allowed, but that's really the only kind of advertising you'll see that's legal here. Yet with all this, Canada's Wonderland is able to get away with WindSeeker's flashing lights.

The laws in question limit advertising not distractions.  It is likely up to the local community to place restrictions on the park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Kenban said:

The laws in question limit advertising not distractions.  It is likely up to the local community to place restrictions on the park.

But if I recall, the reason the MTO puts restrictions on ads is because of driver distraction. I'm just saying it's kinda hypocritical. Where I stand on the whole advertising issue, I don't see any issue with the solid electronic billboard ads that change. Those are actually allowed on Toronto's Gardiner Expressway as that road is full of them.

14 hours ago, jtro223 said:

If WindSeeker is problematic for freeway drivers, I would hate to see the horrors of a New Year's Eve firework show...if Wonderland got Winterfest. (crossthreading.)

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

Well, whenever the fireworks do happen at Wonderland, (for the longest time it was just twice per year, but this season it's FOUR times) the OPP go hog wild on enforcement of that stretch of Hwy 400, making sure drivers aren't distracted. (some try to pull over and watch it). I don't know if fireworks have caused any accidents, but the main problems on NYE usually occur well after midnight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, jtro223 said:

Sometimes, on a dark highway, the bright police car LED flashing lights can be a HUGE distraction.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

The bright police lights are there to signify that you should be cautious and SLOW DOWN. They do that to make sure you see them.

 

In the case of Hwy 400 between Rutherford and Major Mackenzie, that section has high mast lighting by the MTO, the high mast lighting ends a short distance north of Major Mack however. Maybe I am overreacting, but personally I think the WindSeeker is a distraction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe jtro223 is referring to the extreme brightness of the LED - it is obvious the police lights are there to signify to be cautious and to SLOW DOWN...but to many people the LED lights are piercing to the eyes and causes temporary "blindness" or spots limiting vision at what should be a situation where full eyesight and concentration is needed.

Here is one of many articles discussing such phenomena:  http://www.poconorecord.com/article/20131231/News/312310319

Many think you are overreacting, but to each their own...If you truly believe it is an issue, take it up with the officials in that jurisdiction...and you will learn more about right of ways and traffic laws and billboards and such as you progress through your degree, especially if you take the transportation route of civil engineering...you may end up answering your own question!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/9/2018 at 11:39 PM, MisterSG1 said:

 Maybe I am overreacting, but personally I think the WindSeeker is a distraction.

And I think pineapple on pizza is an abomination... Thankfully for fans of both lighting packages and pineapple, neither you nor I are the arbiters of such things...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×