U.S. Federal and State Amusement Ride Regulation

This work product was gathered by Saferparks as a public service. It is believed accurate when published, but there are regular changes in this information; therefore, Saferparks gives no guarantee of accuracy. All requirements should be verified with the jurisdictional authority. The inventory is intended to facilitate a rough comparison of amusement ride laws and regulations implemented at the state level. Results are approximate.
Click on the state or agency for more information (statutes, etc.). Click here to view a state-by-state comparison chart. Last update: April 2017

United States | Consumer Product Safety Commission - Rider Regulations Law | Monitors emerging hazards

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

Jurisdiction:
United States
Exempts fixed-site rides
Agency:
Consumer Product Safety Commission

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals, and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes portable amusement rides. Excludes rides operated at permanent amusement parks. Some non-ride amusement devices installed at permanent parks may be subject to CPSC jurisdiction (e.g., trampoline courts, soft play).

Inspection Program:

None

Investigative Authority:

The Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) authorizes the Commission to investigate serious accidents involving portable carnival rides, inflatables, and go-karts. Amusement rides operated at permanent parks are exempt from compliance with the CPSA.

Reporting Criteria:

A ride manufacturer or owner/operator is required to notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission if it obtains information which reasonably supports the conclusion that a portable amusement ride, inflatable device, go-kart or other non-exempt amusement device:
(1) fails to comply with a consumer product safety standard or banning regulation established by the omission or a voluntary consumer product safety standard upon which the Commission has relied under section 9 of the CPSA;
(2) contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard described in section 15(a)(2) of the CPSA; or
(3) creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.

Alabama | No state agency w/jurisdiction

Alabama

Jurisdiction:
Alabama

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals, and fairs.
Inspection Program:

None.

Investigative Authority:

None.

Reporting Criteria:

None.

Special Conditions:

State law imposes a fee-for-license requirement but does not address any safety-related regulation.

Alaska | Dept. of Labor | Comprehensive government oversight

Alaska Dept. of Labor

Jurisdiction:
Alaska
Agency:
Dept. of Labor

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals, and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes carnival rides, fair rides, water park facilities, bumper boats, go carts, or other commercial activities, of either a permanent or temporary nature.

Inspection Program:

Rides/devices must be inspected annually by a state inspector or NAARSO Level II private inspector.

Investigative Authority:

State ride safety officials assist local jurisdictions.

Reporting Criteria:

Fatalities and injuries requiring medical attention must be reported immediately by phone to state officials or local jurisdiction.

Arizona | No state agency w/jurisdiction

Arizona

Jurisdiction:
Arizona

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

The state amusement ride law excludes non-mechanized playground equipment such as slides and trampolines, challenge or obstacle courses, and inflatable amusement devices. A separate law sets regulations for trampoline courts.

Inspection Program:

Amusement rides must be inspected annually by an insurance inspector or local government inspector. Trampoline courts must be inspected annually by an insurance inspector.

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

Only for trampoline courts – Calls to emergency responders must be reported to the Dept. of Fire Building and Life Safety.

Patron Responsibility Law:

Only applies to trampoline court patrons.

41-2170.24 D. A trampoline court patron shall follow all rules that are posted or provided in writing to the patron by the trampoline court owner or operator. The rules must include a statement that there are inherent risks in the participation in a trampoline court activity or on any trampoline court and that a trampoline court patron, by participation, understands the risks inherent in the participation of which the ordinary prudent person is or should be aware. The rules must specify that a trampoline court patron:
1. Shall:
(a) Exercise good judgment and act in a responsible manner while using a trampoline court and obey all oral or written warnings before and during participation.
(b) Meet height, weight and age restrictions imposed by the owner to use the trampoline court or participate in the trampoline court activity.
2. Shall not:
(a) Participate in a trampoline court activity or on any trampoline court when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
(b) Participate in a trampoline court activity or on any trampoline court if the patron may be pregnant, has had recent surgery, has a preexisting medical condition, circulatory condition, heart or lung condition, back or neck condition or history of spine, musculoskeletal or head injuries or has high blood pressure.

Special Conditions:

(1) As of January 2008, Arizona’s only local government amusement ride inspection programs were in Navajo tribal lands (contact Herman Shorty, PO Box 2372, Window Rock, AZ 86515), and in the City of Prescott.
(2) Trampoline courts are minimally regulated under a different statute, which follows the same industry self-regulation model, but requires accidents to be reported to the Dept. of Fire Building and Life Safety and imposes patron responsibilities on trampoline court customers. The state law preempts local governments from imposing stronger safety oversight. See http://dfbls.az.gov/trampolinecourt/.aspx

Arkansas | Dept. of Labor | Comprehensive government oversight

Arkansas Dept. of Labor

Jurisdiction:

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes: bungee rides, go-karts, inflatable amusement devices, wave pools and water slides, and climbing walls.
Excludes: non-mechanized playground equipment (slides, trampolines) unless a fee is charged.

Inspection Program:

Permanent rides, go-karts, climbing walls and inflatables are inspected by state officials twice a year. Most portable rides are inspected at every setup. Inflatable attractions, rock climbing walls, mechanical bulls, gyro device and trackless trains, and certain self-contained mobile playgrounds (no mechanical or electrical parts) are inspected every 6 months.

Investigative Authority:

Accidents are investigated by Arkansas Dept. of Labor.

Reporting Criteria:

Mechanical, electrical, or structural defects directly affecting patron safety for which the ride is closed to patron use for more than 3 hours must be reported to the state within 24 hours. Accidents involving death or serious injury requiring immediate in-patient hospitalization must be reported within 4 hours.

Patron Responsibility Law:

Through reference to ASTM F770:
5. Patron Responsibility
5.1 There are inherent risks in the participation in or on any amusement ride, device, or attraction. Patrons of an amusement ride, device, or attraction, by participation, accept the risks inherent in such participation of which the ordinary prudent person is or should be aware. Patrons have a duty to exercise good judgment and act in a responsible manner while using the amusement ride, device, or attraction and to obey all oral or written warnings, or both, prior to or during participation, or both.
5.2 Patrons have a duty to not participate in or on any amusement ride, device, or attraction when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
5.3 Patrons have a duty to properly use all ride or device safety equipment provided.

California | Division of Occupational Safety and Health | Comprehensive government oversight

California Division of Occupational Safety and Health

Jurisdiction:
California
Agency:
Division of Occupational Safety and Health

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Covers permanent and portable rides under separate statute/regulations. Includes waterslides, bungee jumps, ziplines, mechanical bulls and surfing simulators. Excludes go-karts, inflatables, dry slides, rock walls/climbing structures, walk-through and glass houses, and live animal rides.

Inspection Program:

For permanent park rides, state inspectors perform an annual records audit, unannounced operational inspection, and physical inspection of the ride each year. In addition, ride owners are required to have a Qualified Safety Inspector (QSI) certify annually that each ride meets industry standards and state regulations. The QSI may be a park employee, 3rd party inspector or state inspector.

All portable amusement rides are inspected before they are originally put into operation for the public’s use and thereafter at least once every year. Portable rides may also be inspected each time they are disassembled and reassembled.

Investigative Authority:

State inspectors have the authority to investigate reportable accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

All ride owners must report accidents resulting in death or injury requiring medical service other than ordinary first aid. As of 2008, portable ride owners must also report major mechanical failures and any accident in which a patron falls or is ejected from the ride mid-cycle, regardless of injury.

Colorado | Division of Oil and Public Safety | Partial government oversight

Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety

Jurisdiction:
Colorado
Agency:
Division of Oil and Public Safety

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes traditional amusement rides, bungee jumping, bungee trampolines, climbing walls in amusement settings, concession go-karts, bumper boats, gravity-propelled rides and devices, water slides, trampoline courts, ziplines, and aerial adventure courses.
Excludes mechanical bulls, slides, live animal rides, laser paintball games, inflatable amusement devices, and amusement devices operated at private events or infrequently by non-profits.

Inspection Program:

Annual inspection by a third party inspector. The inspector files a Certificate of Inspection with the Division. The state can request to see the annual inspection report.

Investigative Authority:

State has the authority to investigate accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operator must notify the Division of any injury caused by a malfunction or failure of an amusement ride or device, or any injury caused by an operator or patron error which impairs the function of an amusement ride or device. Report by phone within 24 hrs; submit written report within 72 hrs.

Patron Responsibility Law:

Potentially enforced through reference to ASTM F770:
5. Patron Responsibility
5.1 There are inherent risks in the participation in or on any amusement ride, device, or attraction. Patrons of an amusement ride, device, or attraction, by participation, accept the risks inherent in such participation of which the ordinary prudent person is or should be aware. Patrons have a duty to exercise good judgment and act in a responsible manner while using the amusement ride, device, or attraction and to obey all oral or written warnings, or both, prior to or during participation, or both.
5.2 Patrons have a duty to not participate in or on any amusement ride, device, or attraction when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
5.3 Patrons have a duty to properly use all ride or device safety equipment provided.

Connecticut | Dept. of Consumer Protection | Partial government oversight

Connecticut Dept. of Consumer Protection

Jurisdiction:
Connecticut
Agency:
Dept. of Consumer Protection

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Covers inflatable amusement devices operated at public events, but not those leased for private residential use.

Inspection Program:

Rides/devices must be inspected at least annually, and as often as the Commissioner directs. The Commissioner approves qualified inspectors or civil engineers familiar with amusement rides/devices. Inspectors shall be certified by a nationally recognized professional or trade association (e.g., NAARSO).

Investigative Authority:

The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is the regulatory authority, but the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), Division of State Police, Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit, conducts inspections and investigations pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement executed in 2011 with DCP as a result of certain state agency reorganizations.

Reporting Criteria:

Accidents resulting in serious physical injury as defined in CT penal code must be reported within 4 hours. “Serious physical injury” means physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health or serious loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

Patron Responsibility Law:

Sec. 29-136a. Patron safety regulations. Detainment of patrons. Owner responsibility.
(a) A patron of an amusement, as defined in section 29-133, or of a public amusement park, as described in section 29-129, shall obey the patron safety regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Consumer Protection pursuant to subsection (e) of section 29-136.
(b) A security guard or law enforcement officer may detain a patron of an amusement for a reasonable time for the purpose of summoning a police officer to the premises of such amusement if such guard or officer has reasonable cause to believe that the patron has violated the patron safety regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (e) of section 29-136.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or otherwise affecting the liability of the owner of an amusement or relieving the owner’s responsibility to provide reasonable supervision of patrons.

Sec. 29-136
(c) The owner of an amusement ride or device shall display signs, in accordance with the patron safety regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, on which is written, at a minimum, the following statement, in letters at least two inches in height: “State law requires patrons to obey all posted signs, warnings and instructions and to behave in a manner that will not cause or contribute to the injury of themselves or others. Injured patrons or their adult guardians must report all injuries to management before leaving. Disorderly conduct is punishable by up to a five-hundred-dollar fine and up to three months imprisonment.”. Such signs shall be posted in accordance with the patron safety regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (e) of this section and at any station for reporting an injury, any first aid station and either (1) the entrance or exit to or from the premises designated for patrons, or (2) any area or structure where patrons may purchase admission or receive authorization to use an amusement ride or device.
(e) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to carry out the provisions of this section.

Delaware | Office of State Fire Marshall | Private sector oversight

Delaware Office of State Fire Marshall

Jurisdiction:
Delaware
Agency:
Office of State Fire Marshall

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes bungee jumps. Excludes non-mechanized playground equipment, such as slides and trampolines.

Inspection Program:

Annually by an insurer or person whom the insurer has contracted. Electrical inspection required at each setup.

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Florida | Dept. of Agriculture - Exempts large theme parks | Comprehensive government oversight

Florida Dept. of Agriculture

Jurisdiction:
Florida
Exempts large theme parks
Agency:
Dept. of Agriculture

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes go-karts, water slides and ziplines at carnivals and non-exempt parks. Excludes rides at large amusement parks, rides at trade shows, laser or paintball games, mechanical bulls, inflatable amusement devices, trampolines, trackless trains, and animal rides.

Inspection Program:

Non-exempt rides must be inspected annually by a professional engineer or qualified inspector who certifies the ride meets state standards and NDT is up to date. State officials inspect fixed-site rides at non-exempt permanent parks every 6 months; portable rides at every setup.

Investigative Authority:

State officials have authority to investigate serious accidents at carnivals and non-exempt permanent parks. Accidents at exempt facilities (large parks, trade shows) are not investigated by public safety authorities.

Reporting Criteria:

Non-exempt parks and traveling carnivals are required by law to report ride-related death or injury requiring immediate transport to a medical facility. Exempt facilities (large parks and trade shows) are exempt from mandatory reporting. In 2001, Disney, Universal and Busch voluntarily agreed to report medical symptoms of patrons who die or are immediately admitted to the hospital after riding their amusement rides.

Special Conditions:

Large parks (over 1000 employees) and trade shows (e.g., IAAPA) are exempt from state safety regulation.

Georgia | Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner | Comprehensive government oversight

Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner

Jurisdiction:
Georgia
Agency:
Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Excludes inflatable amusement devices; mechanical bulls; climbing walls; human powered equipment or attractions (e.g., space balls, Orbitrons); paddle boats, water cycles, and all rental boats; playground equipment located at businesses (e.g., soft play areas); single or multi-passenger rides which are passenger operated or controlled, and may be electrically, mechanically, or manually powered, which do not normally require the supervision or services of an operator or attendant; and single waterslides and similar non-mechanical attractions at municipal, county, state or community operated swimming pools.

Inspection Program:

State officials inspect rides annually, with additional spot-checks.

Investigative Authority:

State officials have authority to investigate serious accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

Any accident or incident involving damage to the ride or personal injury requiring medical treatment. Accidents involving fatalities or serious personal injury, or where further safe operation may be compromised, must be reported immediately. All other accidents and incidents must be reported within 30 days.

Patron Responsibility Law:

Chapter 120-3-27-.04 (7) All ride patrons shall:
(a) Obey all posted signs, including but not limited to, warning signs, instruction signs, and directions signs, which are not inconsistent with these rules;
(b) Obey the instructions of ride attendants;
(c) Properly use all safety equipment provided;
(d) Act in a responsible manner while using an amusement ride, device or attraction;
(e) Refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injury to self or others;
(f) Not participate or use an amusement ride, device or attraction while under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance; and
(g) Be subject to any or all of the following penalties for violation of this Section A:
1. Removal from the ride, device or attraction and barred from returning that day;
2. Removal from the amusement owner’s property and barred from returning that day;
3. Subject to a civil penalty up to a maximum of $100 per infraction to be assessed in accordance with the civil penalty provisions of these rules.

All ride patrons, if the patron is a minor, the patron’s parent or guardian, shall report in writing to the amusement owner or his designee any injury sustained on an amusement ride prior to leaving the amusement owner’s premises , unless the ride patron (or parent or guardian) is unable to file the report because of the severity of the injuries, in which case the report shall be filed as soon as reasonably possible.

Special Conditions:

Accident reports are not considered to be public records.

Hawaii | Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations | Comprehensive government oversight

Hawaii Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations

Jurisdiction:
Hawaii
Agency:
Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes amusement rides installed on a temporary or permanent basis at carnivals, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, or other locations available to the public.

Inspection Program:

Rides must be inspected at least twice a year.

Investigative Authority:

If a person dies, the conditions must be preserved for investigation by the state. Otherwise, the owner may contract another to perform the actual accident investigation, but the owner must file the report.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operators must report any occurrence resulting in significant damage to the amusement device, including when it is rendered inoperative, and any occurrence resulting in physical injury to a person or persons.

Idaho | Division of Building Safety | Electrical inspections only

Idaho Division of Building Safety

Jurisdiction:
Idaho
Agency:
Division of Building Safety

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Inspection Program:

Carnival and amusement rides must have a contractor perform the installation of hookups and the electrical system must pass a state inspection.

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Illinois | Department of Labor | Comprehensive government oversight

Illinois Department of Labor

Jurisdiction:
Illinois
Agency:
Department of Labor

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes go-karts, haunted houses, mechanical bulls, climbing walls, dry slides > 20′ high, alpine slides and toboggan slides, trams and motorized wagon rides, bungee jumps, inflatable devices used at public events, and obstacle courses.
Excludes laser/paint ball war games (non-inflatable), live animal rides, mazes, paddle boats, and trampolines.

Inspection Program:

State officials inspect before the ride is initially put into operation in Illinois and at least once a year thereafter.

Investigative Authority:

If a fatality is related to a major breakdown, the Department initiates an investigation within 24 hours of initial notification.

Reporting Criteria:

Ride-related death or injury requiring medical treatment by a licensed physician.

Patron Responsibility Law:

Potentially enforced through reference to ASTM F770:
5. Patron Responsibility
5.1 There are inherent risks in the participation in or on any amusement ride, device, or attraction. Patrons of an amusement ride, device, or attraction, by participation, accept the risks inherent in such participation of which the ordinary prudent person is or should be aware. Patrons have a duty to exercise good judgment and act in a responsible manner while using the amusement ride, device, or attraction and to obey all oral or written warnings, or both, prior to or during participation, or both.
5.2 Patrons have a duty to not participate in or on any amusement ride, device, or attraction when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
5.3 Patrons have a duty to properly use all ride or device safety equipment provided.

Special Conditions:

Waterslides are regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Indiana | Department of Homeland Security | Partial government oversight

Indiana Department of Homeland Security

Jurisdiction:
Indiana
Agency:
Department of Homeland Security

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Excludes inflatables, transportation devices designed to transport people from one place to another and not used for the sole purpose of amusement or for sightseeing at an amusement park or those subject to regulation by other state or federal agencies; and amusement devices for private use.

Inspection Program:

State officials perform annual ride inspections and, when possible, periodic compliance inspections. Inspectors must be NAARSO Level I certified or equivalent.

Investigative Authority:

If a fatality or serious injury results from a failure of the regulated amusement device, the state must conduct a re-inspection before the ride may re-open.

Reporting Criteria:

(1) The owner shall report by telephone within four (4) hours any fatalities or serious injuries that result from a failure of the regulated amusement device.
(2) The owner shall report by mail within five (5) working days any serious injuries or fatalities that resulted from natural cause or human error of the passenger during operation of the device; or injuries that may have resulted from a failure of the regulated amusement device that resulted in a known transport to a hospital.

Special Conditions:

Waterslides are regulated by the Indiana Dept. of Health

Iowa | Workforce Development | Comprehensive government oversight

Iowa Workforce Development

Jurisdiction:
Iowa
Agency:
Workforce Development

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes inflatables; bungees; water rides (i.e., flume rides and others that have a source other than gravity that propels patrons); climbing wall utilizing an auto-belay system; dry slides; mechanical bulls; zip lines that do not allow the rider to touch the ground at all times.
Excludes waterslides and other water attractions regulated as swimming pools by IA dept. of public health; amusement structures in which the patrons navigate on their own power and the patrons do not ride, climb or walk on a mechanical component; zip line or climbing wall located at a camp or retreat owned and operated by a nonprofit religious, educational or charitable institution/association.

Inspection Program:

Rides/devices are inspected by state officials annually prior to operation and after a major modification. Inflatable companies may apply to self-inspect if they only operate inflatables, have a training certificate from a 3rd party provider, and have a history of safe operation in Iowa. The state may waive the inspection if an operator gives satisfactory proof that the device has passed an inspection conducted by a public or private agency whose inspection standards and requirements are at least equal to those established by IA.

Investigative Authority:

The commissioner, after consultation with the operator and determination, may require that the scene of a serious accident be secured and not disturbed to any greater extent than necessary for removal of the deceased or injured persons. If a ride is removed from service by the commissioner, the commissioner shall order an immediate investigation and the ride or device shall be released for repair and operation only after complete investigation.

Reporting Criteria:

An operator shall report in writing to the commissioner an accident resulting in injury to any person within 48 hours after occurrence of the incident. The operator shall immediately report by telephone any major breakdown or any accident in which a fatality occurs or a person suffers a fracture, concussion, laceration or other traumatic injury requiring immediate surgical or medical care.

Patron Responsibility Law:

88A.15 Rider safety
1. A rider or the rider’s parent or guardian shall report in writing to the operator or the operator’s designee, on forms provided by the operator or the operator’s designee, any injury sustained on an amusement ride before leaving the operator’s premises. The report shall include all of the following information:
a. The name, address, and phone number of the injured person.
b. A brief description of the incident, the injury claimed, and the location, date, and time of the injury.
c. The cause of the injury, if known.
d. The name, address, and phone number of any witness to the incident.
2. If the rider or the rider’s parent or guardian is unable to file a report because of the severity of the rider’s injuries, the rider or the rider’s parent or guardian shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible. The failure of a rider or the rider’s parent or guardian to report an injury under this section does not affect the rider’s right to commence a civil action related to the incident.

3. A rider shall, at a minimum, do all of the following:
a. Obey the reasonable safety rules posted in accordance with this chapter and oral instructions for an amusement ride issued by the operator or the operator’s employee or agent, unless the safety rules or oral instructions are contrary to the safety rules of this chapter.
b. Refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider or others, including all of the following:
(1) Exceeding the limits of the rider’s ability.
(2) Interfering with safety devices that are provided.
(3) Failing to engage safety devices that are provided.
(4) Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the operator.
(5) Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course, or direction of an amusement ride.
(6) Using the controls of an amusement ride designed solely to be operated by the operator.
(7) Extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the operator.
(8) Throwing, dropping, or expelling an object from or toward an amusement ride except as permitted by the operator.
(9) Getting on or off an amusement ride except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the operator or in an emergency.
(10) Not reasonably controlling the speed or direction of the rider’s person or an amusement ride that requires the rider to control or direct the rider’s person or a device.

4. A rider shall not get on or attempt to get on an amusement ride unless the rider or the rider’s parent or guardian reasonably determines that, at a minimum, the rider meets all of the following criteria:
a. Has sufficient knowledge to use, get on, and get off the amusement ride safely without instruction or has requested and received sufficient information to get on, use, and get off the amusement ride safely prior to getting on the amusement ride.
b. Has located, read, and understood any signs in the vicinity of the amusement ride and meets any posted height, medical, or other requirements.
c. Knows the range and limits of the rider’s ability and knows the requirements of the amusement ride will not exceed those limits.
d. Is not under the influence of alcohol or any drug that affects the rider’s ability to safely use the amusement ride or obey the posted rules or oral instructions.
e. Is authorized by the operator or the operator’s employee, agent, or servant to get on the amusement ride.”

Special Conditions:

Waterslides are regulated by the Iowa Dept. of Public Health.

Kansas | Department of Labor | Private sector oversight

Kansas Department of Labor

Jurisdiction:
Kansas
Agency:
Department of Labor

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Excludes non-mechanized playground equipment, including slides, trampolines, moon walks and other inflatable equipment and physical fitness devices.

Inspection Program:

Permanent rides/devices must be self-inspected annually (i.e., by the park or carnival that operates them). Portable rides/devices must be self-inspected within 30 days prior to operation. Inspectors must have at least NAARSO Level I certification. The state can conduct random inspections of both permanent and portable rides.

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Patron Responsibility Law:

44-1607. Patrons of amusement rides, acceptance of risk, duties; reports of injuries.
(a) Each patron of an amusement ride, by participation, accepts the risks inherent in such participation of which an ordinary prudent person is or should be aware.
(b) Each patron of an amusement ride has a duty to:
(1) Exercise the judgment and act in the manner of an ordinary prudent person while participating in an amusement ride;
(2) obey all instructions and warnings, written or oral, prior to and during participation in an amusement ride;
(3) refrain from participation in an amusement ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
(4) engage all safety devices that are provided;
(5) refrain from disconnecting or disabling any safety device except at the express direction of the owner’s agent or employee; and
(6) refrain from extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the owner’s agent or employee.
(c) (1) A patron, or a patron’s parent or guardian on a patron’s behalf, shall report in writing to the owner any injury sustained on an amusement ride before leaving the premises, including:
(A) The name, address and phone number of the injured person;
(B) a full description of the incident, the injuries claimed, any treatment received and the location, date and time of the injury;
(C) the cause of the injury, if known; and
(D) the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident.
(2) If a patron, or a patron’s parent or guardian on a patron’s behalf, is unable to file a report because of the severity of the patron’s injuries, the patron or the patron’s parent or guardian on the patron’s behalf shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible.
(3) The failure of a patron, or the patron’s parent or guardian on a patron’s behalf, to report an injury under this subsection shall have no effect on the patron’s right to commence a civil action.
(d) Any parent or guardian of a patron shall have a duty to reasonably ensure that the patron complies with all provisions of this act.

Kentucky | Department of Agriculture | Comprehensive government oversight

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

Jurisdiction:
Kentucky
Agency:
Department of Agriculture

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals, and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes amusement parks, mobile carnivals, air inflatables, go-cart tracks, restaurant play courts and water parks.
Excludes animal rides, slides less than 15′ tall, haunted houses, hay rides, corn mazes, mechanical bulls, aerial tramways, watercraft other than bumper boats, paintball courses, lazy rivers, wave pools, trampolines not requiring an assistive device, belayed rappelling equipment and facilities, ziplines, ropes courses, obstacle courses.

Inspection Program:

Rides/devices must be inspected annually by state officials, plus possibility of additional inspections throughout the year.

Investigative Authority:

State inspectors are authorized to investigate serious accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operator must submit a written report within 12 hrs of the following:
(1) (a) Death; (b) Injury requiring ambulance or emergency vehicle transport to a hospital from the site, where the injury is a result of a failure of the amusement ride or attraction; or (c) Damage to an amusement ride or attraction that affects the future safe operation of the ride or attraction.
(2) Sudden, unplanned, non-accidental stoppage of the ride.
(3) Structural or major mechanical failure.

Louisiana | State Fire Marshal Office | Partial government oversight

Louisiana State Fire Marshal Office

Jurisdiction:
Louisiana
Agency:
State Fire Marshal Office

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes inflatables; bungee rides; go-karts; wave pools, water slides, and similar water attractions; artificial climbing walls; and zip lines.

Inspection Program:

Rides/devices must be inspected annually by 3rd party inspector. Inflatables must be inspected at each setup, but this can be done by someone who works for the inflatable company if they’ve been licensed by the state to perform inflatable setup inspections. The state may waive an inspection if the owner/operator submits proof that it’s passed inspection conducted by a public agency whose inspection standards are at least equal to LA’s.

Investigative Authority:

Accidents may be investigated by state inspectors or insurance inspectors.

Reporting Criteria:

Ride-related death or serious injury resulting in immediate overnight hospital admission. Fatalities reported within 12 hours; serious injuries reported within 24 hours.

Patron Responsibility Law:

§1485.2. Definitions
For the purposes of this Subpart, the following terms and phrases have the meanings ascribed to them:
(1) “”Carnival or amusement ride”” means either of the following:
(a) A device that is intended to give amusement, excitement, pleasure, or thrills to riders whom the device carries along or around a fixed or restricted course or within a defined area.
(b) A structure that gives amusement, excitement, pleasure, or thrills to people who move around, over, or through the structure without the aid of a moving device integral to the structure.
(2) “”Firm”” means a sole proprietorship, corporation, limited liability company, or similar type of business entity.
(3) “”Owner”” means a person, a firm, the state, or a political subdivision of the state that owns an amusement ride or, if the ride is leased, the lessee of the ride.
(4) “”Parent or guardian”” means each parent, custodian, or guardian responsible for the control, safety, training, or education of a rider who is a minor, has a disability, or is incompetent.
(5)(a) “”Rider”” means any person who is:
(i) Waiting in the immediate vicinity to enter a carnival or amusement ride.
(ii) Entering a carnival or amusement ride.
(iii) Using a carnival or amusement ride.
(iv) Exiting a carnival or amusement ride.
(v) Leaving a carnival or amusement ride and still in the immediate vicinity of the ride.
(b) The term “”rider”” does not include employees or agents of the owner while engaged in the duties of their employment.
(6) “”Sign”” means any symbol or language reasonably calculated to communicate information to riders or their parents or guardians, including but not limited to placards, prerecorded messages, live public addresses, stickers, pictures, pictograms, guidebooks, brochures, video, verbal information, and visual signals.
Acts 2003, No. 928, §1; Acts 2014, No. 811, §22, eff. June 23, 2014; Acts 2016, No. 462, §2.
§1485.3. Reporting rider injury
A. A rider, or his parent or guardian on the rider’s behalf, shall report in writing to the owner any injury sustained on a carnival or amusement ride before leaving the owner’s premises, including:
(1) The name, address, and phone number of the injured person.
(2) A full description of the incident, the injuries claimed, any treatment received, and the location, date, and time of the injury.
(3) The cause of the injury, if known.
(4) The names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident.
B. If the rider, or his parent or guardian on a rider’s behalf, is unable to file a report because of the severity of his injuries, he shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible.
C. The failure of a rider, or his parent or guardian on a rider’s behalf, to report an injury as required by this Section shall have no effect on the rider’s right to commence a civil action.
Acts 2003, No. 928, §1.
§1485.4. Code of rider conduct
A. A rider shall obey the posted rules, warnings, and oral instructions for a carnival or amusement ride issued by the owner or his employee or agent.
B. A rider shall refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider or others, including:
(1) Exceeding the limits of the rider’s ability.
(2) Interfering with the safe operation of the carnival or amusement ride.
(3) Failing to engage any safety devices provided for the rider’s safety.
(4) Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the owner’s agent or employee.
(5) Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course, or direction of a carnival or amusement ride.
(6) Using the controls of a carnival or amusement ride designed solely to be operated by the owner’s agent or employee.
(7) Extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the owner’s agent or employee.
(8) Throwing, dropping, or expelling an object from or toward a carnival or amusement ride except as permitted by the owner’s agent or employee.
(9) Entering or exiting a carnival or amusement ride except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the owner’s agent or employee.
(10) Unreasonably controlling the speed or direction of the carnival or amusement ride that requires the rider to control or direct himself or a ride.
(11) Overloading a carnival or amusement ride beyond its designated capacity.
Acts 2003, No. 928, §1.
§1485.5. Rider qualifications
A rider shall not enter or attempt to enter a carnival or amusement ride unless the rider, or his parent or guardian on a rider’s behalf, reasonably determines that, at a minimum:
(1) The rider has sufficient knowledge to use, enter, or exit the carnival or amusement ride safely without instruction or has requested and received, before entering the carnival or amusement ride, sufficient information to enter, use, or exit the ride safely.
(2) The rider has located, reviewed, and understood any signs in the vicinity of the carnival or amusement ride and has satisfied any posted height or other restrictions.
(3) The rider knows the range and limits of his ability and knows the requirements of the carnival or amusement ride will not exceed those limits.
(4) The rider is not under influence of alcohol or any drug that affects his ability to safely use the carnival or amusement ride or obey the posted rules or oral instructions.
(5) The rider is authorized by the owner’s authorized agent or employee to enter the carnival or amusement ride.
Acts 2003, No. 928, §1.
§1485.6. Parent or guardian conduct
Parents or guardians of riders have a duty to ensure that a rider complies with all provisions of this Subpart.
Acts 2003, No. 928, §1.
§1485.7. Notice to riders
A. The owner shall display signs at the following places:
(1) Any station for reporting an injury.
(2) Any first aid station.
(3) Either of the following places:
(a) Any entrance or exit to or from the premises designated for riders.
(b) Any area or structure at which riders may purchase admission or obtain authority to use a carnival or amusement ride.
B. All signs required by this Section shall include a legend providing that “”STATE LAW REQUIRES RIDERS TO OBEY ALL WARNINGS AND DIRECTIONS AND BEHAVE IN A MANNER THAT WILL NOT CAUSE OR CONTRIBUTE TO INJURING THEMSELVES OR OTHERS. RIDERS SHOULD REPORT ALL INJURIES BEFORE LEAVING THE EVENT PREMISES.””
Acts 2003, No. 928, §1.
§1485.8. Criminal penalty
If a person willfully violates any provision of this Subpart, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction of the first offense, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed twenty-five dollars and for subsequent convictions, up to one hundred dollars.

Maine | Department of Public Safety | Comprehensive government oversight

Maine Department of Public Safety

Jurisdiction:
Maine
Agency:
Department of Public Safety

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes bungees, water slides. Excludes inflatables, non-mechanized playground equipment.

Inspection Program:

Rides/devices must pass an inspection by officials from the State Fire Marshal’s office prior to first operation within the state, and may be reinspected in case of accident or if a complaint is filed. Inflatables are generally registered without an inspection, but may be inspected when operating with permanent or portable rides and after an accident or complaint.

Investigative Authority:

State inspectors are authorized to inspect rides after an accident.

Reporting Criteria:

If patron is transported to hospital, accident must be reported immediately and ride shut down pending authorization to re-open. Other injuries must be reported within 24 hours.

Patron Responsibility Law:

§803. Rider conduct
1. Reports. A rider or the rider’s parent or guardian shall report in writing to the amusement owner or the amusement owner’s designee any injury sustained on an amusement ride before leaving the amusement owner’s premises, including:
A. The name, address and phone number of the injured person; [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
B. A brief description of the incident, the injury claimed and the location, date and time of the injury; [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
C. The cause of the injury, if known; and [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
D. The names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident. [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
If the rider or the rider’s parent or guardian is unable to file a report because of the severity of the rider’s injuries, the rider or the rider’s parent or guardian shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible. The failure of a rider or the rider’s parent or guardian to report an injury under this section does not affect the rider’s right to commence a civil action.
[ 1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW) .]
2. Code of conduct. A rider shall at a minimum:
A. Obey the reasonable safety rules posted in accordance with this Act and oral instructions for an amusement ride issued by the amusement owner or the amusement owner’s employee or agent, unless:
(1) The safety rules are contrary to this Act; or
(2) The oral instructions are contrary to this Act or the safety rules; and [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
B. Refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider or others, including:
(1) Exceeding the limits of the rider’s ability;
(2) Interfering with safe operation of the amusement ride;
(3) Not engaging any safety devices that are provided;
(4) Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the ride operator;
(5) Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course or direction of an amusement ride;
(6) Using the controls of an amusement ride designed solely to be operated by the ride operator;
(7) Extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the ride operator;
(8) Throwing, dropping or expelling an object from or toward an amusement ride except as permitted by the ride operator;
(9) Getting on or off an amusement ride except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the ride operator or in an emergency; and
(10) Not reasonably controlling the speed or direction of the rider’s person or an amusement ride that requires the rider to control or direct the rider’s person or a device. [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
[ 1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW) .]
3. Rider qualifications. A rider may not get on or attempt to get on an amusement ride unless the rider or the rider’s parent or guardian reasonably determines that, at a minimum, the rider:
A. Has sufficient knowledge to use, get on and get off the amusement ride safely without instruction or has requested and received before getting on the ride sufficient information to get on, use and get off safely; [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
B. Has located, reviewed and understood any signs in the vicinity of the ride and has satisfied any posted height, medical or other restrictions; [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
C. Knows the range and limits of the rider’s ability and knows the requirements of the amusement ride will not exceed those limits; [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
D. Is not under the influence of alcohol or any drug that affects the rider’s ability to safely use the amusement ride or obey the posted rules or oral instructions; and [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
E. Is authorized by the amusement owner or the amusement owner’s authorized servant, agent or employee to get on the amusement ride. [1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).]
[ 1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1997, c. 303, §1 (NEW).

Maryland | Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation | Comprehensive government oversight

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Jurisdiction:
Maryland
Agency:
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes inflatables. Excludes bungee jumping (prohibited by law in MD).

Inspection Program:

Amusement park rides and water slides are required to be inspected annually but are inspected several times throughout the year. Carnival rides must be inspected each time they are moved. Inflatables must be inspected annually, but the state attempts to inspect them at each setup as manpower allows.

Investigative Authority:

State has authority to investigate accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

Injuries that occur during use of amusement attractions other than injuries that (1) are minor, (2) require only first-aid, (3) do not involve medical treatment or loss of consciousness.

Massachusetts | Dept. of Public Safety | Comprehensive government oversight

Massachusetts Dept. of Public Safety

Jurisdiction:
Massachusetts
Agency:
Dept. of Public Safety

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes inflatables, go-karts, challenge courses, climbing walls, trackless trains, carnival and rental inflatables, bungee jumping, inclined railways or similar devices,

Inspection Program:

Annually by 3rd-party inspectors for amusement rides and large inflatables. Small inflatables (including rentals) may be inspected by a state inspector anytime during the season as deemed necessary.

Investigative Authority:

If a serious injury (e.g. death/dismemberment) results from a ride malfunction, or results in major damage to the ride or component system, the device must be shut down and secured until a state inspector has completed an investigation.

Reporting Criteria:

Accidents resulting in serious injury or major damage to the ride/device must be reported within one hour. Serious injury is defined as “personal injury/illness that results in death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, permanent loss of the use of a body organ, member, function, or system, a compound fracture, or other significant injury/illness that requires immediate admission and overnight hospitalization and observation by a licensed physician”.

Patron Responsibility Law:

5.03: Rider Responsibility
(1) Scope. 520 CMR 5.03 establishes the rider’s responsibilities when using amusement devices including inflatables.
(2) Rider Responsibility Requirements. There are inherent risks in the participation in or on any amusement device. Riders accept the risks inherent in such participation of which the ordinary prudent person is or should be aware.
(a) Riders shall exercise good judgment and act in a responsible manner while using any amusement device. Riders shall obey all oral warnings by the ride operator, certified maintenance mechanic, or any inspector.
(b) Riders shall obey all instructional and warning signs clearly posted on the amusement device.
(c) Riders shall not place themselves on any amusement device when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
(d) Riders shall use all amusement ride safety devices provided on a ride to ensure their safety. No person shall bypass, remove or make any safety device inoperable.
(e) Riders have a responsibility to notify the ride operator of any pre-existing health conditions that may negatively affect the health and safety of the rider if he or she were to ride the amusement device.”

Michigan | Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs | Comprehensive government oversight

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Jurisdiction:
Michigan
Agency:
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes zip lines, aerial lifts, go-karts, water slides. Excludes hobby locomotive operating on narrow gauge tracks less than 24 inches.

Inspection Program:

State officials inspect rides at least once per year. Officials may inspect rides more often, and do when problems or questions arise that warrant a re-inspection.

Investigative Authority:

State inspectors are authorized to investigate serious accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

(a) Must report in writing any accident resulting in injury within 24hrs of occurrence.
(b) Immediate phone report is required if fatality occurs or person suffers a fracture, concussion, laceration, or other traumatic injury requiring immediate surgical or medical care resulting from structural or mechanical failure of the ride.
(c) A major breakdown / mechanical failure must be reported within 24 hrs, followed up by a written report within 7 days.
(d) For cases b & c, the department may require that the ride be shutdown pending an investigation.

Patron Responsibility Law:

408.668 Required conduct of rider; requirements. Sec. 18.
(1) A rider of a carnival or amusement ride shall, at a minimum, do all of the following:
(a) Obey the reasonable safety rules posted in accordance with this act and oral instructions for the carnival or amusement ride given by the operator or an employee or agent of the operator, unless the safety rules or oral instructions are contrary to the safety rules provided in this act.
(b) Refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to the injury of the rider or others, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(i) Exceeding the limits of his or her ability.
(ii) Interfering with safety devices that are provided.
(iii) Failing to engage safety devices that are provided.
(iv) Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the operator or an employee or agent of the operator.
(v) Altering the intended speed, course, or direction of the carnival or amusement ride.
(vi) Using the controls of a carnival or amusement ride designed solely to be operated by the operator or an employee or agent of the operator.
(vii) Extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the operator or an employee or agent of the operator.
(viii) Throwing, dropping, or expelling an object from or toward a carnival or amusement ride except as permitted by the operator or an employee or agent of the operator.
(ix) Getting on or off a carnival or amusement ride except at the designated time and area, unless directed by the operator or an employee or agent of the operator or in an emergency.
(x) On a carnival or amusement ride that requires the rider to control or direct his or her body or the carnival or amusement ride, not reasonably controlling the speed or direction of the carnival or amusement ride or his or her body.
(xi) Intentionally dropping, throwing, or expelling an object from a carnival or amusement ride while riding on the carnival or amusement ride.
(xii) Doing any act that interferes with the running or operation of a carnival or amusement ride, including, but not limited to, swinging or bouncing on an aerial carnival or amusement ride or attempting to contact supporting towers, machinery, guides, or guards while riding on a carnival or amusement ride.
(2) A rider of a carnival or amusement ride shall not get on or attempt to get on a carnival or amusement ride unless the rider or the rider’s parent or guardian reasonably determines that, at a minimum, the rider meets all of the following requirements:
(a) He or she has sufficient knowledge to get on, use, and get off the carnival or amusement ride safely without instruction or has requested and received sufficient information to get on, use, and get off the carnival or amusement ride safely prior to getting on the carnival or amusement ride.
(b) He or she is aware of, has read, and understands any signs in the vicinity of the carnival or amusement ride and meets any posted height, medical, or other requirements.
(c) He or she knows the range and limits of his or her ability and knows the requirements of the carnival or amusement ride will not exceed those limits.
(d) He or she is not under the influence of alcohol or any drug that affects his or her ability to safely use the carnival or amusement ride or obey the posted rules or oral instructions.
(e) He or she is authorized by the operator or by an employee or agent of the operator to get on the carnival or amusement ride.
History: Add. 2000 Act 346, Eff. Mar. 28, 2001
408.670 Injury report. Sec. 20.
(1) Before leaving the operator’s premises, a rider of a carnival or amusement ride or his or her parent or guardian shall report in writing to the operator or an employee or agent of the operator, on a form provided by the operator or the employee or agent of the operator, any injury sustained on a carnival or amusement ride. The report shall include all of the following information:
(a) The name, address, and telephone number of the injured person.
(b) A brief description of the incident, the injury claimed, and the location, date, and time of the injury.
(c) The cause of the injury, if known.
(d) The name, address, and telephone number of any witness to the incident.
(2) If the rider of a carnival or amusement ride or his or her parent or guardian is unable to file a report under subsection (1) because of the severity of the rider’s injuries, the rider or his or her parent or guardian shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible. The failure of a rider or his or her parent or guardian to report an injury under this section does not affect the rider’s right to bring a civil action related to the incident.
History: Add. 2000 Act 346, Eff. Mar. 28, 2001

Minnesota | Dept. of Labor and Industry | Private sector oversight

Minnesota Dept. of Labor and Industry

Jurisdiction:
Minnesota
Agency:
Dept. of Labor and Industry

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes inflatables in commercial use at a permanently located facility to which the general public is invited or which is rented out for private parties or other events (i.e., inflatables at carnivals/fairs are exempt, as are inflatables rented out for events at a client’s facility). Excludes non-mechanized playground equipment like dry slides, trampolines, and physical fitness devices.

Inspection Program:

Annually by a certified amusement ride inspector (NAARSO/AIMS Level II or III). Inspector may be either an employee of the insurance company or an independent inspection service provider. Ride/device must be reinspected after a major modification or serious illness/injury involving the ride. According to Minnesota Statute 184B, it looks like inflatables don’t have to be inspected, although they have to be insured. Blowers and generators may be subject to electrical inspection requirements.

Investigative Authority:

An amusement ride must be re-inspected by a certified amusement ride inspector and approved by the commissioner before it may be operated following a serious injury or illness involving the ride.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operator must report serious injury/illness arising from the use or operation of an amusement ride to either the state agency or local law enforcement. The accident must be investigated by the state or local law enforcement. Serious injury or illness is one that results in death, dismemberment, disfigurement, compound fracture, or permanent loss of the use of a body organ, member, function or system, or that requires hospital admission within 24 hours of the accident or incident.

Patron Responsibility Law:

184B.08 OPERATOR ENFORCEMENT.
A ride operator, owner, the State Agricultural Society, a sponsor, lessor, landowner, or other person who has contracted for the amusement ride to be offered to any riders may impose and enforce reasonable safety rules regarding the behavior of riders. An operator, owner, the State Agricultural Society, a sponsor, lessor, landowner, or other person who has contracted for the amusement ride to be offered to any riders, or its agents, may prohibit a person from riding a ride or may remove a rider from a ride for violations of those rules.

Mississippi | No state agency w/jurisdiction

Mississippi

Jurisdiction:
Mississippi

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Inspection Program:

None

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Special Conditions:

State Fair Commission inspects each ride erected for annual fair.

Missouri | Division of Fire Safety | Partial government oversight

Missouri Division of Fire Safety

Jurisdiction:
Missouri
Agency:
Division of Fire Safety

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes bungee rides; climbing walls taller than 10′; dry slides taller than 20′; trams and other similar motorized devices, except hayrides and those devices that are used solely to transport patrons to and from parking areas or those used for guided or educational tours. Excludes water slides, temporary structures such as fun houses or haunted houses without mechanical components, and hayrides. State regulation of inflatables is limited to inflatable slides >20′ and inflatable climbing walls > 10′.

Inspection Program:

Rides inspected annually by owner-hired, state-licensed 3rd party inspectors. State inspectors perform spot checks throughout the season.

Investigative Authority:

Investigative authority is granted to ride owner’s subcontractor/Missouri Division of Fire Safety.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operator must report any accident resulting in (a) death or injury requiring admission to hospital; or (b) 3 persons injured and transported to hospital for treatment.

Patron Responsibility Law:

11 CSR 40-6.085 (3) A passenger/rider on an amusement ride shall, at a minimum –
(A) Obey the reasonable safety rules posted in accordance with this act and oral instructions for an amusement ride issued by the amusement ride owner or such owner’s employee or agent.
(B) Refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring such passenger/rider or others, including:
1. Interfering with safe operation of the amusement ride;
2. Not engaging any safety devices that are provided;
3. Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the operator;
4. Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course or direction of an amusement ride;
5. Extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the ride operator;
6. Throwing, dropping or expelling an object from or toward an amusement ride;
7. Getting on or off an amusement ride except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the ride operator, or in an emergency;
8. Unreasonably controlling the speed or direction of such passenger or an amusement ride; and
9. A rider may not board or attempt to board any amusement ride while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination thereof, as defined by Chapter 195, RSMo.

Special Conditions:

Rides operated in St. Louis County are subject to more stringent regulations including inspections at each setup.

Montana | No state agency w/jurisdiction

Montana

Jurisdiction:
Montana

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

“Amusement ride” or “ride” means a movable, portable, or nonpermanent structure that features or employs a mechanical, aquatic, or other device or attraction that carries passengers over a fixed or restricted route or that operates in a fixed or restricted area, primarily for the passengers’ amusement. This definition applies to amusement rides that are set up and operate in any location in Montana for not more than 30 days.

Inspection Program:

None

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Patron Responsibility Law:

Only applies to portable amusement rides.

27-1-744. Passenger responsibilities and prohibitions. (1) A passenger may not:
(a) enter or exit an amusement ride except at a time and place, if any, designated by an operator or employee and in the manner and under the supervision of an operator or employee;
(b) throw or drop an object from or in the direction of an amusement ride;
(c) fail or refuse to comply with the instructions of an operator or employee operating or supervising an amusement ride;
(d) act in a manner that could interfere with the safe operation of an amusement ride or with the safety of a passenger;
(e) disable or attempt to disable any safety or restraining device;
(f) alter or enhance the designed speed, course, or direction of an amusement ride;
(g) operate or attempt to operate amusement ride controls designed to be operated only by the operator or employee operating the ride; or
(h) use an amusement ride when under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point that the ability of the passenger to safely use the ride is diminished. An operator or employee may prohibit a person from using or continuing a ride if the operator or employee reasonably believes that the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point that the person’s ability to safely use or continue the ride is diminished.
(2) A passenger shall follow warnings and other information posted by or orally given to the passenger by an operator or employee.

27-1-745. Injury reports. (1) (a) A passenger who is injured on or by an amusement ride is encouraged to report the injury to the operator before leaving the amusement ride premises. The passenger shall if possible, not later than 6 months after the injury, report the injury to the operator or to the owner of the premises where the amusement ride was located at the time of the injury. The report must include:
(i) the passenger’s name, address, and telephone number;
(ii) a brief description of the injury and how it occurred, including the date, approximate time, location, and amusement ride upon which the injury occurred; and
(iii) the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of known witnesses to the injury.
(b) The operator shall provide to the person who was injured and who has filed an injury report:
(i) the individual operator’s name, current address, and telephone number;
(ii) a brief description of the ride, the maintenance schedule for the ride, and the manufacturer of the ride; and
(iii) the names, current addresses, and telephone numbers of all known witnesses to the injury.
(2) The report must be kept by the operator for at least 3 years after its receipt and must be made available for inspection by the injured passenger or the passenger’s agent during business hours.

Missouri | Division of Fire Safety | Partial government oversight

Missouri Division of Fire Safety

Jurisdiction:
Missouri
Agency:
Division of Fire Safety

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals, and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes bungee rides; climbing walls taller than 10′; dry slides taller than 20′; trams and other similar motorized devices, except hayrides and those devices that are used solely to transport patrons to and from parking areas or those used for guided or educational tours. Excludes water slides, temporary structures such as fun houses or haunted houses without mechanical components, and hayrides. State regulation of inflatables is limited to inflatable slides >20′ and inflatable climbing walls > 10′.

Inspection Program:

Rides inspected annually by owner-hired, state-licensed 3rd party inspectors. State inspectors perform spot checks throughout the season.

Investigative Authority:

Investigative authority is granted to ride owner’s subcontractor/Missouri Division of Fire Safety.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operator must report any accident resulting in (a) death or injury requiring admission to hospital; or (b) 3 persons injured and transported to hospital for treatment.

Patron Responsibility Law:

11 CSR 40-6.085 (3) A passenger/rider on an amusement ride shall, at a minimum –
(A) Obey the reasonable safety rules posted in accordance with this act and oral instructions for an amusement ride issued by the amusement ride owner or such owner’s employee or agent.
(B) Refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring such passenger/rider or others, including:
1. Interfering with safe operation of the amusement ride;
2. Not engaging any safety devices that are provided;
3. Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the operator;
4. Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course or direction of an amusement ride;
5. Extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the ride operator;
6. Throwing, dropping or expelling an object from or toward an amusement ride;
7. Getting on or off an amusement ride except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the ride operator, or in an emergency;
8. Unreasonably controlling the speed or direction of such passenger or an amusement ride; and
9. A rider may not board or attempt to board any amusement ride while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination thereof, as defined by Chapter 195, RSMo.

Special Conditions:

Rides operated in St. Louis County are subject to more stringent regulations including inspections at each setup.

Nebraska | Department of Labor, Office of Safety | Partial government oversight

Nebraska Department of Labor

Jurisdiction:
Nebraska
Agency:
Department of Labor, Office of Safety

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes bungee jumping. Excludes inflatables, non-mechanized playground equipment, including slides and trampolines.

Inspection Program:

Rides/devices must be inspected before the ride is put into operation for public use and at least once every year prior to public use by state-certified 3rd party inspectors. Commissioner may waive the inspection requirement if proof is provided that the ride has passed inspection in another jurisdiction with requirements at least as stringent as Nebraska’s.

Investigative Authority:

The commissioner may suspend the permit for any ride-related serious injury caused by a breakdown or malfunction of the ride and may require an inspection before the ride re-opens.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operator must send the state a copy of any accident report required by his/her insurer within 48 hrs, and must immediately report by phone a major breakdown or any accident in which a fatality occurs or a person suffers a fracture, concussion, laceration or other traumatic injury requiring immediate surgical or medical care.

Special Conditions:

Accident reports are not considered to be public records.

Nevada | No state agency w/jurisdiction

Nevada

Jurisdiction:
Nevada

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

“Amusement park” means any permanent facility or park where amusement rides are available for use by the public. “Amusement ride” or “ride” means any type of ride, including, without limitation, any mechanical or aquatic device which carries passengers over a fixed or restricted route primarily for the passengers’ amusement. The terms include any ride propelled by its passengers or gravity if it is located in an amusement park.

Inspection Program:

None

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Patron Responsibility Law:

Only applies to amusement park patrons (not carnival patrons)

NRS 455B.040 Passengers: Duties. A passenger shall, to the extent that the matter is within the passenger’s control:
1. Locate and ascertain the meaning of signs in the vicinity of the passenger posted pursuant to NRS 455B.030;
2. Heed warnings and other information posted by an operator or announced by an authorized agent or employee of an operator; and
3. Conduct himself or herself in such a manner as to avoid injury to persons and property in an amusement park.
(Added to NRS by 1993, 1332)

NRS 455B.050 Passengers: Prohibited conduct generally. A passenger shall not:
1. Embark upon an amusement ride when the passenger knows that he or she has insufficient knowledge or physical ability to use the ride safely;
2. Purposefully embark upon or disembark from an amusement ride, except at the time and area designated for such a purpose or at the direction and under the direct supervision of an authorized agent or employee of an operator;
3. Toss, throw or cast or intentionally drop, expel or eject an object from an amusement ride;
4. Toss, throw or cast an object in the direction of an amusement ride;
5. Fail or refuse to comply with instructions given to the passenger by an authorized agent or employee of an operator regarding the use of an amusement ride; or
6. Conduct himself or herself in a manner that could interfere with the safe operation of an amusement ride or with the safety of another passenger.
(Added to NRS by 1993, 1332)

Special Conditions:

Clark County Department of Building Codes regulates the safety of permanent rides in that county (includes part of Las Vegas).

New Hampshire | Dept. of Safety | Comprehensive government oversight

New Hampshire Dept. of Safety

Jurisdiction:
New Hampshire
Agency:
Dept. of Safety

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes inflatables, go-karts, alpine slides / mountain coasters, bungee rides, water slides, slides over 8 feet in height, amusement devices that require the user to wear a body harness.

Inspection Program:

Annual inspections by state inspector plus follow-ups as needed.

Investigative Authority:

The state investigates serious accidents to determine cause, such as: (1) patron error, (2) operator error, or (3) mechanical error.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operator must report any accident where:
(1) A person dies as a result of a defect in the design of the ride, operator error, malfunction or the rider’s fault;
(2) A serious injury occurs that indicates the safety of future users of the ride might be in jeopardy;
(3) A person’s injury requires admission or outpatient treatment at a hospital; or
(4) Damage to the ride would affect the safety of the ride.

Patron Responsibility Law:

Saf-C 1404.03 Operator and User Conduct. All persons operating, riding on, or otherwise using or viewing a carnival or amusement ride shall conduct themselves in a manner which will not endanger:
(a) Any other person operating, riding on, or otherwise using said carnival or amusement ride, or any other carnival or amusement ride;
(b) Themselves;
(c) Any employee of the owner or operator of the carnival or amusement ride; and/or
(d) The carnival or amusement ride.
Saf-C 1404.04 Operator’s Authority.
(a) The physical operator of a carnival or amusement ride shall refuse admission to any carnival or amusement ride, or if admitted on a carnival or amusement ride shall remove, any person who is acting in a manner that might cause or contribute to the injury of himself or others.
(b) The reasons for said refusal or removal shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following conditions that interfere with public safety:
(1) Drunkenness;
(2) Drug abuse;
(3) Refusal to obey rules posted by the operator for the safe use of the carnival or amusement ride; and
(4) Behavior which interferes with the safe operation of a carnival or amusement ride.

New Jersey | Dept. of Community Affairs | Comprehensive government oversight

New Jersey Dept. of Community Affairs

Jurisdiction:
New Jersey
Agency:
Dept. of Community Affairs

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes mechanical amusement devices; gravity or passenger-propelled rides when located with other rides covered by the rules; soft play, inflatables at public events, go-karts, bungee, climbing walls, and water rides except single slides < 15′ tall (intended for pools open to the general public).

Inspection Program:

Manufacturers must have their ride/device type-certified through review by state engineers prior to selling the ride for operation in NJ. Rides/devices operated in NJ are inspected annually by state officials. Mechanical and operational inspections are also done at random intervals during the season.

Investigative Authority:

State inspectors are authorized to investigate accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operators must report accidents, incidents or mechanical breakdowns.
(a) Shut down the ride and report immediately – incidents involving death or serious injury, ejection from the ride or failure of a critical structural or mechanical component. The ride shall stay shut down until opened by the Department. “Serious injury” means any injury in which the injured person has lost consciousness, broken a bone, was transported to an emergency medical facility or an injury for which medical treatment by a physician beyond first aid was required.
(b) Report within 24 hours – incidents involving a ride-related injury requiring first aid or any mechanical malfunction or emergency evacuation.
When the manufacturer is notified by an owner of an incident anywhere in the world involving serious injury or a critical structural or mechanical component of the ride, they must evaluate the information and if necessary they must issue a safety bulletin. In any case they must notify the Department of the incident and shall report their findings regarding any recommendations to eliminate or prevent future similar incidents.

(Note: reporting criteria changed in 2003; prior to change, owner/operators were required to report any injury)

Patron Responsibility Law:

§ 5:14A-3.2 Riders to comply with posted warnings and directions
(a) Each individual who rides a carnival-amusement ride shall comply with written warnings and directions posted by the operator of the carnival-amusement ride according to these rules. These include:
1. Height, weight, and size restrictions, if any, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:14A-9.34;
2. Rider warning signs in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:14A-9.34;
3. Rider conduct signs in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:14A-9.33; and
4. Any other signs or warning posted by the operator with the express intent to protect the safety and well being of riders, equipment and operators.
§ 5:14A-3.3 Riders under the influence of alcohol or drugs
A rider shall not board or attempt to board any amusement ride if he/she is knowingly under the influence of any alcoholic beverage as defined in N.J.S.A. 33:1-1 or under the influence of any prescription, legend drug or controlled dangerous substance as this term is defined P.L. 1970, c.226 (N.J.S.A. 24:21-1 et al.) or any other substance which affects the rider’s ability to use the ride safely and to abide by the posted and stated instructions.

New Mexico | Regulation and Licensing Dept. | Private sector oversight

New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Dept.

Jurisdiction:
New Mexico
Agency:
Regulation and Licensing Dept.

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes mechanical and aquatic amusement devices; bungee jump. Excludes playground equipment, small events consisting of fewer than six kiddie rides; and non-profits that own and operate a ride for <= 10 days per year.

Inspection Program:

Owner/operator must obtain inspection annually by a NAARSO Level I, II or III inspector.

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Special Conditions:

Small promotional events or operations consisting of fewer than six kiddie rides designed for children twelve years of age or younger are exempt, as are rides owned and operated by a non-profit for <= 10 days per year.

New York | Dept. of Labor - Excludes NY City | Partial government oversight

New York Dept. of Labor

Jurisdiction:
New York
Excludes NY City
Agency:
Dept. of Labor

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes slides and waterslides with a total vertical drop >= 20ft, funhouses, and go-karts. Excludes inflatables, rides in cities with less than 1 million people.

Inspection Program:

Rides/devices must be inspected annually by a qualified inspector. NY state licenced PE’s & architects, and insurance inspectors are deemed qualified to perform the annual inspection, but the inspector cannot be the owner, lessee, employee or controlling principal.

Investigative Authority:

Following a reportable accident, the ride must be immediately shut down and the scene preserved. A safety coordinator designated by the ride owner/operator may order the ride re-opened if his/she determines that the injury was not caused by a mechanical or structural defect. If the accident was caused by a mechanical or structural defect, the ride must remain shut down until repairs are completed and approved by a licensed architect, PE, 3rd party inspector, or regulatory official.

Reporting Criteria:

Personal injury which results in death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; a compound or comminuted fracture; or permanent loss of a body organ, member, function or system; or loss of consciousness resulting in hospitalization.

Special Conditions:

Rides operated in New York City are exempt from state law and regulated by the NYC Department of Buildings.

North Carolina | Dept. of Labor | Comprehensive government oversight

North Carolina Dept. of Labor

Jurisdiction:
North Carolina
Agency:
Dept. of Labor

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes glasshouses, waterslides and walkthrough dark houses, go-karts, inflatables at carnivals and parks. Excludes devices operated on a river, lake or other natural body of water, wavepools, mechanical bulls, buildings or concourses used in laser games.

Inspection Program:

Annually for fixed site and inflatables; at each setup for portable rides. Inspections are performed by state officials.

Investigative Authority:

State inspectors are authorized to investigate serious accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

Owner/operator must report within 24 hrs the following:
(1) Incident resulting in death or injury requiring medical treatment, other than first aid, by a physician. First aid means the one time treatment or observation of scratches, cuts not requiring stitches, burns, splinters and contusions or a diagnostic procedure, including examination and x-rays, which does not ordinarily require medical treatment even though provided by a physician or other licensed personnel; or
(2) Incident resulting in damage to the device indicating a substantial defect in design, mechanics, structure or equipment, affecting the future safe operation of the device. Does not include normal wear and tear.

Special Conditions:

Waterslides are regulated by the North Carolina Division of Public Health.

North Dakota | No state agency w/jurisdiction

North Dakota

Jurisdiction:
North Dakota

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

EXCLUDES – inflatables, non-mechanized playground equipment including slides, trampolines, and physical fitness devices.

Inspection Program:

The owner/operator must file an affidavit with the city or county stating that the ride has been inspected by a qualified inspector of an insurance underwriter (no frequency stated in law).

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None at state level, but reports may be filed with local city/county government.

Ohio | Dept. of Agriculture | Comprehensive government oversight

Ohio Dept. of Agriculture

Jurisdiction:
Ohio
Agency:
Dept. of Agriculture
Overview
Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes traditional amusement rides, bungee jumping, inflatable rides, climbing walls. Excludes rides operated at a trade show or private facility; devices that the director of agriculture determines don’t meet the definition of “safe operation”, including: mechanical bulls, surfboards, zip lines, vertical wind tunnels, skateboard or bicycle rodeo devices, cable wakeboard or ski facilities, or other devices that are not intended or manufactured to secure the rider from threat of physical danger, harm, or loss.

Inspection Program:

Annual, plus re-inspections after an accident & mid-season operational inspections. Conducted by authorized inspectors of the department.

Investigative Authority:

State inspectors authorized to investigate serious accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

Death or injuries requiring immediate admission to hospital must be reported within 24 hours. The accident scene must be preserved until the ride is re-inspected or the state approves its re-opening. The owner/operator must notify the state when design flaws or failures that may affect rider safety are identified. On rides for which the manufacturer is no longer in existence, the owner shall take appropriate corrective action, as determined by an individual with a recognized degree or professional certificate.

Patron Responsibility Law:

1711.551 Rider Responsibilities
(A) No rider shall fail to do any of the following:
(1) Heed all written warnings and directions that require a person to meet certain conditions or to refrain from certain actions regarding an amusement ride, as determined by rule by the director of agriculture.
(2) Refrain from behaving or acting in any manner that may cause injury or contribute to injuring himself or other people while occupying an amusement ride.

Oklahoma | Dept. of Labor | Comprehensive government oversight

Oklahoma Dept. of Labor

Jurisdiction:
Oklahoma
Agency:
Dept. of Labor

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes inflatables; any amusement park device that uses treated water as the means of transportation, including the structure and water quality of the device.

Inspection Program:

State inspects all amusement rides at permanent amusement parks annually. Portable rides are inspected every time they’re moved. Additionally, state inspectors perform surveillance of amusement rides during the year to ensure that the rides are being operated in accordance with state law. Insurance inspectors must be licensed with the state annually. Shows that play more than 5 events in OK annually and have <= 25 rides on their midway may apply to use their own inspectors instead of the state’s.

Investigative Authority:

State has authority to investigate accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

Ride-related death or injury requring medical care beyond on-site first aid must be reported to the state immediately.

Patron Responsibility Law:

1. A rider shall:
a. obey the reasonable safety rules posted in accordance with law and oral instructions for an amusement ride issued by the owner or the employee of the owner, unless:
(1) the safety rules are contrary to law or rules, or
(2) the oral instructions are contrary to law or rules or the safety rules, and
b. refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider or others, including:
(1) exceeding the limits of ability of the rider,
(2) interfering with safe operation of the amusement ride,
(3) not engaging any safety devices that are provided,
(4) disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the ride operator,
(5) altering or enhancing the intended speed, course, or direction of an amusement ride,
(6) using the controls of an amusement ride designed solely to be operated by the ride operator,
(7) extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the ride operator,
(8) throwing, dropping, or expelling an object from or toward an amusement ride except as permitted by the ride operator,
(9) getting on or off an amusement ride except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the ride operator or in an emergency, and
(10) not reasonably controlling the speed or direction of the person of the rider or an amusement ride that requires the rider to control or direct the person of the rider or a device;

Oregon | Building Codes | Private sector oversight

Oregon Building Codes

Jurisdiction:
Oregon
Agency:
Building Codes

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes bungee jumping, aerial tramways. Excludes waterslides.

Inspection Program:

Rides inspected annually by qualified inspectors acting on behalf of insurance companies that provide coverage on rides. State can make unscheduled inspections.

Investigative Authority:

If an accident is a result of equipment failure, the device shall not be operated until it is re-inspected by an authorized inspector.

Reporting Criteria:

Serious injury or death, or property damage over $5000.

Pennsylvania | Dept. of Agriculture | Comprehensive government oversight

Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture

Jurisdiction:
Pennsylvania
Agency:
Dept. of Agriculture

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes inflatables, haunted houses, go-karts, waterslides, bungee jumps. Excludes waterslides if they’re regulated by the Dept. of Health.

Inspection Program:

Rides are inspected monthly or at every setup by state certified 3rd party inspectors hired by the ride owner. State officials perform unannounced spot checks on a frequent and random schedule.

Investigative Authority:

The ride must be shut down after a reportable accident until it’s been reinspected by a qualified inspector. If the accident involves a fatality or injury resulting in death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement or permanent loss of the use of a body organ, the re-inspection must be performed by a state inspector. If the accident involves a fatality, the insurance company has to provide written approval that the ride is safe before it can be reopened.

Reporting Criteria:

An owner or lessee shall submit an accident report to the department for any accident which involves serious injury or illness or death to an individual or individuals as a result of the operation of an amusement ride or attraction. “Serious injury or illness” is an injury or illness that requires:
(1) offsite emergency first aid;
(2) offsite medical treatment, whether it is administered or recommended or may be required at a future date;
(3) observation by a licensed physician; or
(4) admission to a hospital.
The term also includes an injury or illness that results in death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement or permanent loss of the use of a body organ, member, function or system.

Patron Responsibility Law:

Chapter 12 Title 4, Section 502-503
§ 501. Short title
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Amusement Rider Safety and
Liability Act.
§ 502. Definitions
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“”Amusement park.”” A tract or area used principally as a location for amusement structures or rides. The term includes only permanent amusement and water parks.
“”Amusement ride.”” Any device, including a water-based device, that carries or conveys passengers along, around or over a fixed or restricted route or course or within a defined area for the purpose of giving its passengers amusement, pleasure, thrills or excitement.
“”Amusement ride operator.”” Any person, firm or corporation that is engaged in operating for the public an amusement structure or ride at a permanent amusement or water park.
“”Rider.”” A person 14 years of age or older utilizing an amusement ride. The term includes any person who is an invitee, whether or not the person pays consideration.
§ 503. Rider’s responsibility
(a) Responsibilities — A rider is responsible for obeying the posted rules or oral instructions of amusement rides and shall abide by the following:
(1) A rider may not board or dismount from an amusement ride except at a designated area if one is provided.
(2) A rider may not throw or expel any object or matter from an amusement ride.
(3) A rider may not act in any manner contrary to posted and oral rules while boarding, riding on or dismounting from any amusement ride.
(4) A rider may not engage in any reckless act or activity which may tend to injure himself or others.
(5) While using amusement rides that require steering or control of himself or a car device, every rider shall maintain reasonable control of his speed and course at all times. A rider shall not steer the ride in such a manner as to intentionally harm another person.
(6) A rider may not disconnect, disable or attempt to disconnect or disable any safety device, seatbelt, harness or other restraining device before, during or after movement of the ride has started except at the express instruction of the operator.
(7) A rider may not disembark or attempt to disembark from any amusement ride before, during or after movement of a ride has started except upon the express instruction of the operator.
(8) A rider may not board or attempt to board any amusement ride if he is under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance as defined in the act of April
14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, which impacts his ability to safely use the ride and abide by the posted and oral instructions. The operator may prevent a rider who is perceptibly or apparently under the influence of drugs or alcohol from riding on an amusement ride. An operator who prevents a rider from boarding a ride in accordance with this paragraph shall not be criminally or civilly liable in any manner or to any extent whatsoever if the operator has a reasonable basis for believing that the rider is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
(9) A rider may not alter or enhance the intended speed, course or direction of a ride by using any unauthorized device, instrument or method.
(10) A rider 14 years of age or older embarking on a ride after failing to pay appropriate consideration for its use, when required by amusement park rules and regulations, shall be considered to be a trespasser.
(11) A rider shall not attempt to gain access to controls of an amusement ride designed solely tobe operated by employees of amusement parks.
(b) Exceptions.– Subsection (a) shall not apply to an individual who because of deafness, blindness, mental limitation or a language barrier is not capable of understanding the posted rules or oral instructions.
(c) Definitions.– As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
“”Blindness.”” A condition such that an individual has 3/60 or 10/200 or less normal vision.
“”Deafness.”” A condition such that an individual is totally deaf or whose hearing is so impaired that he is unable to understand or communicate the spoken English language.
§ 504. Actions against amusement ride operators
It shall be the duty of each rider to heed all posted and oral warnings and to refrain from acting in a manner which may knowingly cause or contribute to the injury of himself or others or in a manner contrary to prohibited acts for riders set forth in section
3. Notice of these prohibited acts shall be displayed as set forth in section 5. Proof that a rider sustained an injury in the course of knowingly acting contrary to section 3 shall be evidence of comparative negligence in a suit against an operator by that rider.
§ 505. Posting of notice
Every operator shall post the safety responsibilities of riders based upon standards set forth by the American Society for Testing Materials, Department of Agriculture regulations and as set forth in section 3 in a conspicuous place at each ride. The language and symbols used shall be the same as designated by the American Society for Testing Materials.
§ 506. Report of incident
(a) Reporting.– A rider shall report in writing to the operator all of the details of any incident as soon as possible. The report shall include the rider’s name and address, a brief description of the incident and injuries claimed, including the location, date, time and alleged cause, the name and address of the ride operator, others involved and witnesses, if any.
(b) Applicability.– This section shall have no effect on a rider’s right to commence a civil action.
§ 507. Nonapplicability
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as limiting or otherwise affecting the liability and responsibilities of an amusement park operator under the act of June 18, 1984 (P.L. 384, No. 81), known as the Amusement Ride Inspection Act, or as preventing the maintenance of an action against an amusement operator for negligent construction, maintenance or operation of an amusement ride. In addition, nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or otherwise affecting the responsibility and liability of an amusement park operator to provide reasonable supervision for riders.

Special Conditions:

Waterslides may be regulated by the Dept. of Health.

Rhode Island | Building Commission | Comprehensive government oversight

Rhode Island Building Commission

Jurisdiction:
Rhode Island
Agency:
Building Commission

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Excludes inflatables, hayrides, animal rides, and walk-through amusement attractions, slides <= 20′ tall.

Inspection Program:

Each ride must have an annual 3rd party inspection by a RI Certified Professional Engineer while the ride is in the down position (disassembled). The state inspects each amusement park ride and kiddie carnival ride (after the ride assembly is completed) at least once a year. Major carnival rides must be inspected by the state at each carnival location.

Investigative Authority:

State officials are authorized to investigate serious accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

State law requires reporting of any injury resulting in overnight hospitalization for treatment or observation.

South Carolina | Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation | Partial government oversight

South Carolina Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Jurisdiction:
South Carolina
Agency:
Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes bungee jumping. Excludes inflatables, water park rides and attractions.

Inspection Program:

Rides must be inspected annually by Special Inspectors who are licensed by the Dept. of LLR, but are not employees of the agency. LLR employs a team of auditors who travel the state to randomly review the work performed by the Special Inspectors.

Investigative Authority:

When a catastrophic accident causes death or hospitalization of at least three people, the ride owner or lessee shall immediately shut down the device from further use. The device may not resume operation until the safety coordinator determines that the catastrophic accident was not caused by a mechanical or structural defect in the amusement device. If the safety coordinator determines that a catastrophic accident was caused by a mechanical failure or structural defect, the device must remain shut down until repairs are completed and the device is considered operational by a licensed architect, professional engineer, qualified inspector of an insurance underwriter, or other qualified inspector. An affidavit of the inspection and correction of defect must be filed with the director.

Reporting Criteria:

Accidents resulting in death, fracture, disfigurement or immediate in-patient hospitalization must be reported by the next business day.

Patron Responsibility Law:

SECTION 41-18-310. Definitions.
As used in this article:
(1) “”Parent or guardian”” means a parent, custodian, or guardian responsible for the control, safety, training, or education of a minor or a person who is disabled or incompetent.
(2) “”Rider of a carnival or amusement device”” or “” rider”” means a person who is:
(a) waiting in the immediate vicinity to get on a carnival or amusement device;
(b) getting on a carnival or amusement device;
(c) using a carnival or amusement device;
(d) getting off a carnival or amusement device; or
(e) leaving a carnival or amusement device and who is still in the immediate vicinity of the carnival or amusement device.
“”Rider”” does not include employees or agents of the owner of a carnival or amusement device while engaged in the duties of their employment.
(3) “”Sign”” means a symbol or language reasonably calculated to communicate information to riders or riders’ parents or guardians including, but not limited to, placards, prerecorded messages, live public address, stickers, pictures, pictograms, guidebooks, brochures, video, verbal information, and visual signals. Lettering on signs used for this purpose must be at least two inches in height.
HISTORY: 2005 Act No. 30, Section 1, eff January 1, 2006.
SECTION 41-18-320. Compliance with safety rules; reports of injuries.
(A) A rider of a carnival or amusement device shall at a minimum:
(1) obey the posted rules and warnings and instructions for a carnival or amusement device issued by the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner’s employee or agent; and
(2) refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider of a carnival or amusement device, or others, including:
(a) exceeding the limits of the rider’s ability;
(b) interfering with safe operation of the carnival or amusement device;
(c) not engaging a safety mechanism provided on a carnival or amusement device;
(d) disconnecting or disabling a carnival or amusement safety device, except at the express instruction of the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner’s agent or employee;
(e) altering or enhancing the intended speed, course, or direction of a carnival or amusement device;
(f) using, touching, or tampering with the controls of a carnival or amusement device designed solely to be operated by the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner’s agent or employee;
(g) extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area of a carnival or amusement device except at the express direction of the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner’s agent or employee;
(h) throwing, dropping, or expelling an object from or toward a carnival or amusement device, except as permitted by the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner’s agent or employee;
(i) getting on or off a carnival or amusement device, except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner’s agent or employee or in an emergency;
(j) not reasonably controlling the speed or direction of the rider or a carnival or amusement device that requires the rider to control or direct himself or the device; and
(k) overloading a carnival or amusement device beyond its designed capacity.
(B) A rider must not get on or attempt to get on a carnival or amusement device unless the rider, or the rider’s parent or guardian on the rider’s behalf, reasonably determines that, at a minimum, the rider:
(1) has sufficient knowledge to use, get on, and get off the carnival or amusement device safely without instruction or has requested and received before getting on the carnival or amusement device sufficient information to get on, use, and get off the device safely;
(2) has located, reviewed, and understood any signs in the vicinity of the carnival or amusement device and has satisfied any posted height or other restrictions or requirements;
(3) knows the range and the limits of his ability and knows that the requirements of the carnival or amusement device do not exceed those limits;
(4) is not under the influence of alcohol or any drug that affects his ability to safely use the carnival or amusement device or to obey the posted rules or warnings or instructions; and
(5) is authorized by the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner’s agent or employee to get on the carnival or amusement device.
(C)(1) A rider, or a rider’s parent or guardian on the rider’s behalf, shall report in writing to the owner of the carnival or amusement device any injury sustained on a carnival or amusement device before leaving the owner’s premises, including:
(a) the name, address, and phone number of the injured person;
(b) a full description of the incident, the injuries claimed, and any treatment received and the location, date, and time of the injury;
(c) the cause of the injury, if known; and
(d) the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident.
(2) If a rider, or a rider’s parent or guardian on the rider’s behalf, is unable to file a report because of the severity of the rider’s injuries, the rider, or the rider’s parent or guardian, shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible.
(3) The failure of a rider, or a rider’s parent or guardian on the rider’s behalf, to report an injury under this subsection has no effect on the rider’ s right to commence a civil action.
HISTORY: 2005 Act No. 30, Section 1, eff January 1, 2006.
SECTION 41-18-330. Obligations of parents and guardians.
Parents or guardians of riders have a duty to ensure that the rider complies with all provisions of this article.
HISTORY: 2005 Act No. 30, Section 1, eff January 1, 2006.
SECTION 41-18-340. Detention by security officer for safety warning violation; defense in civil action for detention.
(A) A security or law enforcement officer may detain a person for a reasonable time in a reasonable manner for the purpose of conducting an investigation if the security or law enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person has violated any posted rules or warnings or instructions of the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner’s agent or employee.
(B) In a civil action brought by a person resulting from a detention of a person by a security or law enforcement officer, it is a defense to that action that the security or law enforcement officer who detained the person had reasonable cause to believe that the person had violated a posted rule or warning or instruction of the carnival or amusement device owner, or of the owner’s employee or agent, and that the security or law enforcement officer detained the person for a reasonable time in a reasonable manner for the purpose of conducting an investigation of the alleged violation.
HISTORY: 2005 Act No. 30, Section 1, eff January 1, 2006.
SECTION 41-18-360. Wilful violations; penalties.
A person who wilfully violates this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than two months or both.
HISTORY: 2005 Act No. 30, Section 1, eff January 1, 2006.

South Dakota | No state agency w/jurisdiction

South Dakota

Jurisdiction:
South Dakota

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Excludes slides and other playground equipment; conveyances which operate directly on the ground (e.g., go-karts).

Inspection Program:

State law requires that portable rides/devices be inspected annually by a certified 3rd-party inspector (NAARSO or AIMS), but there is no state office to monitor compliance or enforce the law. Rides at permanent parks are exempt from the inspection requirement.

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Patron Responsibility Law:

Only applies to amusement park patrons (not carnival patrons)

42-10-9. Rider obedience of rules, warnings, and oral or prerecorded instructions–Contributory negligence. A rider on an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature is responsible for obeying all posted rules, warnings, and the oral or prerecorded instructions of the operator of the amusement ride or amusement device of a permanent nature, and all of the following:
(1) No rider may board or dismount from an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature except at a designated area;
(2) No rider may throw or expel any object or matter from an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature;
(3) No rider may act in any manner contrary to posted rules, oral rules, or prerecorded oral or video rules or instructions while boarding, riding on, or dismounting from any amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature;
(4) No rider may engage in any reckless act or activity which may tend to injure the rider or others;
(5) While using an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature that requires steering or control of the rider or a car device, each rider shall maintain reasonable control of his or her speed and course at all times. A rider may not steer the ride in such a manner as to harm another person. A rider on an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature where the rider controls the speed or direction of the device or part of the device assumes responsibility to engage the device in a manner that does not harm the rider or others;
(6) No rider may disconnect, disable, or attempt to disconnect or disable any safety device, seat belt, harness, or other restraining device before, during, or after movement of the ride has started except at the express instruction of the operator;
(7) No rider may disembark or attempt to disembark from any amusement ride or amusement device of a permanent nature before, during, or after movement of a ride has started except upon the express instruction of the operator;
(8) No rider may board or attempt to board any amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature if the rider is under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance which impacts his or her ability to safely use the ride and abide by the posted and oral instructions. The operator may prevent a rider who is apparently under the influence of drugs or alcohol from riding on an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature. An operator who prevents a rider from boarding a ride in accordance with this subdivision may not be held criminally or civilly liable if the operator has a reasonable basis for believing that the rider is under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
(9) No rider may alter or enhance the intended speed, course, or direction of an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature by using an unauthorized device, instrument, or other method;
(10) No rider may attempt to gain access to controls of an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature designed solely to be operated by employees of amusement rides.
If a rider violates any provision of this section, the violation may be used as evidence of contributory negligence in any civil case asserting amusement ride or operator liability.

Special Conditions:

State law, but no state enforcement. Fixed-site rides are exempt from inspection. Patron responsibility rules apply only to fixed-site rides. (Two SD state legislators are also amusement park owners.)

Tennessee |Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development | Partial government oversight

Tennessee Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

Jurisdiction:
Tennessee
Agency:
Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes waterslides, glasshouses and walk-through dark houses; dry slides > 20′ high; motorized trams used as a ride (not transportation). Excludes wave pools, hay rides, go-karts, mechanical bulls and bungee cords, laser tag, climbing walls, animal rides.

Inspection Program:

Rides must be inspected annually to ASTM standards by a certified 3rd party inspector hired by the owner/operator.

Investigative Authority:

Accidents are investigated by a 3rd-party inspector hired by the owner/operator. The commissioner may conduct a spot inspection of any amusement device without notice at any time while the amusement device is operating or will be operating in this state.

Reporting Criteria:

The owner/operator must report any accident involving a fatality, serious physical injury, or serious incident resulting from the operation of an amusement device to the commissioner, in writing, within twenty-four (24) hours.

Patron Responsibility Law:

68-121-125. Safety rules governing rider — Violations and penalties — Duty to report injuries — Display of rules.
(a) A rider on an amusement device shall, at a minimum:
(1) Obey the reasonable safety rules posted in accordance with subsection (g) and oral instructions for an amusement device issued by the amusement device’s owner or the owner’s employee or agent, unless:
(A) The safety rules are contrary to those issued by the board; or
(B) The oral instructions are contrary to the safety rules; and
(2) Refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider or others, including:
(A) Interfering with the safe operation of the amusement device;
(B) Not engaging any safety devices that are provided;
(C) Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the operator;
(D) Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course or direction of an amusement device;
(E) Extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area except at the express direction of the amusement device operator;
(F) Throwing, dropping or expelling an object from or toward an amusement device;
(G) Getting on or off an amusement device except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the amusement device operator, or in an emergency; and
(H) Unreasonably controlling the speed or direction of the rider or an amusement device that requires the rider to control or direct the rider or a device.
(b) A rider of an amusement device shall not get on, enter, or attempt to get on an amusement device unless the rider reasonably determines that, at a minimum, the rider:
(1) Has sufficient knowledge to use, get on, enter, or get off the amusement device safely without instruction or has requested and received before getting on the amusement device sufficient information to get on, use, enter, or get off safely;
(2) Has located, reviewed and understood any signs in the vicinity of the amusement device and has satisfied any posted height, medical or other restrictions and abided by all rules, regulations and restrictions;
(3) Is not under the influence of alcohol or any drug that affects the rider’s ability to safely use the amusement device or obey the posted rules or oral instructions; and
(4) Is authorized by the amusement device owner or the owner’s authorized servant, agent or employee to get on the amusement device.
(c) (1) It is an offense for any person to knowingly violate subsection (a) or (b).
(2) A violation of subdivision (c)(1) is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine only.
(d) A rider, or the rider’s parent or guardian on the rider’s behalf, shall report in writing to the owner any injury sustained on an amusement device before leaving the owner’s premises, including:
(1) The name, address, and phone number of the injured person;
(2) A full description of the incident, the injuries claimed, any treatment received, and the location, date, and time of the injury;
(3) The cause of the injury, if known; and
(4) The names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident.
(e) If the rider, or the rider’s parent or guardian on a rider’s behalf, is unable to file a report before leaving the owner’s premises because of the severity of the rider’s injuries, the rider, or the rider’s parent or guardian, shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible.
(f) The failure of a rider, or the rider’s parent or guardian on a rider’s behalf, to report an injury under this section shall have no effect on the rider’s right to commence a civil action.
(g) Safety rules governing rider conduct must be prominently displayed at or near the entrance to, or loading platform for, the amusement device.

Texas | Dept. of Insurance | Private sector oversight

Texas Dept. of Insurance

Jurisdiction:
Texas
Agency:
Dept. of Insurance

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes most mobile carnival rides; most theme park rides; most water park rides and devices; go-karts, rock climbing walls, bungee jumps, zip lines, mechanical bulls, trackless trains, inflatables, and various simulators. Excludes non-mechanized playground equipment; physical fitness/training devices or obstacle/ropes course equipment; Zorb or hamster balls; animal rides. Challenge courses are exempt if they have insurance >= $100,000 / $300,000 for fixed site; or $1 mil / $1.5 mil for portable.

Inspection Program:

Rides are inspected annually by the owner/operator’s insurance company.

Investigative Authority:

Operators may re-open a ride following a serious accident once the ride has been re-inspected by the operator’s insurance company. Local law enforcement officers have authority to shut down an unsafe or non-compliant ride operated at a carnival or smaller amusement park, but may not interfere with operation of rides at larger amusement parks, even if the ride is non-compliant or appears to be unsafe.

Reporting Criteria:

The operator shall file an injury report on a quarterly basis and shall include in the report a description of each verifiable injury caused by a ride that results in death or injury that requires medical treatment. The term “medical treatment” includes treatment (other than first aid) administered by a physician or by registered professional personnel under the standing orders of a physician.

Special Conditions:

Rides at permanent parks are exempt from state requirements for daily ride inspections. Rides at large permanent parks are exempt from statute allowing law enforcement officers to shut down unsafe or non-compliant rides.

Utah | No state agency w/jurisdiction

Utah

Jurisdiction:
Utah

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes traditional amusement rides, water slides, and wave pools installed at permanent parks. Excludes portable amusement rides.

Inspection Program:

None

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Patron Responsibility Law:

Only applies to amusement park patrons (not carnival patrons)

78-27-61. Amusement park rides — Park responsibilities — Rider responsibilities.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) (i) “”Amusement park”” means any permanent indoor or outdoor facility or park where amusement rides are available for use by the general public.
(ii) “”Amusement park”” does not include a ski resort, a traveling show, carnival, or fair.
(b) “”Amusement ride”” means a device or attraction at an amusement park which carries or conveys passengers along, around, or over a fixed or restricted route or course or allows the passenger to steer or guide it within an established area for the purpose of giving its passengers amusement, pleasure, thrills, or excitement. “”Amusement ride”” includes:
(i) any water-based recreational attraction, including all water slides, wave pools, and water parks; and
(ii) typical rides, including roller coasters, whips, ferris wheels, and merry-go-rounds.
(c) “”Intoxicated”” means a person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any substance having the property of releasing toxic vapors, to a degree that the person may endanger himself or another, in a public place or in a private place where he unreasonably disturbs other persons.
(d) “”Operator”” means any person, firm, or corporation that owns, leases, manages, or operates an amusement park or amusement ride and all employees and agents of the amusement park.
(e) “”Rider”” means any person who is:
(i) waiting in the immediate vicinity of an amusement ride in order to get on the ride;
(ii) in the process of leaving the ride but remains in its immediate vicinity; or
(iii) a passenger or participant on an amusement ride.
(2) An amusement park shall inform riders in writing, where appropriate, of the nature of the ride, including factors which would assist riders in determining whether they should participate in the ride activity and the rules concerning conduct on each ride. Information concerning the rules of conduct may be given verbally at the beginning of each ride segment or posted in writing conspicuously at the entrance to each ride.
(3) Riders are responsible for obeying the posted rules and verbal instructions of the amusement ride operator.
(4) A rider may not:
(a) board or dismount from an amusement ride except at a designated area;
(b) board an amusement ride if he has a physical condition that may be aggravated by participation on the ride;
(c) disconnect, disable, or attempt to disconnect or disable, any safety device, seat belt, harness, or other restraining device before, during, or after movement of the amusement ride has started except at the express instruction of the operator;
(d) throw or expel any object from an amusement ride;
(e) act in any manner contrary to posted or oral rules while boarding, riding, or dismounting from an amusement ride; or
(f) engage in any reckless act or activity which may injure himself or others.
(5) A rider may not board or attempt to board any amusement ride if he is intoxicated.
(a) An operator of an amusement park ride may prevent a rider who is perceptibly or apparently intoxicated from boarding an amusement ride.
(b) An operator who prevents a rider from boarding an amusement ride under this section,
is not criminally or civilly liable if the operator reasonably believes that the rider is intoxicated.
(6) An amusement park shall post signs and notices in conspicuous locations throughout the park informing riders of the importance of reporting all injuries sustained on amusement park premises. The signs shall contain the location where any injuries may be reported.
(7) A rider, or the parent or guardian of a minor rider on the minor’s behalf, may report in writing to the amusement facility or its designated agent any injuries sustained on an amusement ride before leaving the amusement facility premises, unless the rider, or parent or guardian of a minor rider, is unable to file a report because of the severity of the injuries to the rider. The report shall be filed as soon as reasonably possible and include:
(a) the name, address, and phone number of the injured person;
(b) if the injured person is a minor, the name, address, and phone number of the parent or guardian filing the report;
(c) a brief description of the incident causing the injury, including the location, date, and time of the injury;
(d) a description of the injury, including the cause, if known; and
(e) the name, address, and phone number of any known witnesses to the incident.
(8) The actions of any rider of sufficient age and knowledge to assume the inherent risks of an amusement ride who violates the provisions of Subsection (3), (4), or (5) may be considered by the court in a civil action brought by a rider against the amusement park operator for injuries sustained while at the amusement park for the purpose of allocating fault between the parties.

Enacted by Chapter 148, 1998 General Session

Vermont | Secretary of State, Corporations Division | Private sector oversight

Vermont Secretary of State, Corporations Division

Jurisdiction:
Vermont
Agency:
Secretary of State, Corporations Division

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes mechanical rides, bungee jumps. Excludes inflatables.

Inspection Program:

None

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Special Conditions:

Vermont requires owners to purchase liability insurance and pay a licensing fee. The state does not monitor safety of rides.

Virginia | County Governments (state law requires county permits) | Private sector oversight

Virginia County Governments

(state law requires county permits)

Jurisdiction:
Virginia
Agency:
County Governments (state law requires county permits)

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes bungee, inflatables, zip lines, concession go-karts, climbing walls, and bumper boats. excludes water slides used in community association, community club or community organization swimming pools; mechanical bulls or similar devices; mall trains, shopping mall trains or electric trackless trains for malls; water walking balls, euro bubbles, etc.

Inspection Program:

Permits are issued by local building codes enforcement agency. Certified amusement device inspectors must perform the inspections of amusement devices. Certified inspectors may be employees of the local government or may be independent inspectors who are hired by the amusement device owners/operator.

Investigative Authority:

Ride owners are required to investigate their own accidents and report findings to the county Dept. of Buildings. County officials may follow up.

Reporting Criteria:

Death or injury requiring overnight hospitalization must be reported to local Building Department. Reports are kept by county, city, or town building department. Contact each local building dept.

Patron Responsibility Law:

§ 59.1-519. Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
“Amusement device” means (i) a device or structure open to the public by which persons are conveyed or moved in an unusual manner for diversion and (ii) a device suspended in the air by the use of steel cables, chains, belts, or ropes, and usually supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, also known as a passenger tramway, used to transport passengers uphill.
“Operator” means the entity listed as operator on the Certificate of Inspection issued for the amusement device pursuant to § 36-98.3 and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.
“Owner” means the entity listed as owner on the Certificate of Inspection issued for the amusement device pursuant to § 36-98.3 and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.
“Parent or guardian” means any parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person having immediate control or charge of a child.
“Rider” means any person who is (i) waiting in the immediate vicinity to get on an amusement device; (ii) getting on an amusement device; (iii) using an amusement device; (iv) getting off an amusement device; or (v) leaving an amusement device and still in its immediate vicinity. “Rider” does not include employees, agents, or servants of the owner or operator of the amusement device while engaged in the duties of their employment.
§ 59.1-520. Rider conduct; reports.
A. A rider, or his parent or guardian on a rider’s behalf, shall report in writing to the owner or operator any injury sustained on an amusement device before leaving the owner’s or operator’s premises, or, if the parent or guardian is not present, then as soon as reasonably possible, including (i) the name, address, and phone number of the injured person; (ii) a full description of the incident, the injuries claimed, any treatment received, and the location, date, and time of the injury; (iii) the cause of the injury, if known; and (iv) the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident, if known by the rider or his parent or guardian. If the rider, or his parent or guardian on a rider’s behalf, is unable to file a report because of the severity of his injuries, he shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible. The failure of a rider, or his parent or guardian on a rider’s behalf, to report an injury under this subsection shall have no effect on the rider’s right to commence a civil action.
B. A rider shall:
1. Obey the posted rules, warnings, and oral instructions for an amusement device issued by the owner, operator or an employee or agent of the owner or operator; and
2. Not intentionally act in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider or others, including:
a. Interfering with safe operation of the amusement device;
b. Failing to engage any safety devices that are provided;
c. Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the owner’s or operator’s agent or employee;
d. Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course, or direction of an amusement device;
e. Using the controls of an amusement device designed solely to be operated by the owner’s or operator’s agent or employee;
f. Throwing, intentionally dropping, or intentionally expelling an object from or toward an amusement device;
g. Getting on or off an amusement device except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the owner’s or operator’s agent or employee, or in an emergency;
h. Not reasonably controlling the speed or direction of the rider or an amusement device that requires the rider to control or direct himself on a ride; and
i. Overloading an amusement device beyond its posted capacity.
§ 59.1-521. Duty of parent or guardian.
Parents or guardians of a rider shall have a duty to ensure that the rider complies with all provisions of this chapter.
§ 59.1-522. Owner or operator duty to post.
A. The owner or operator shall post signs stating “State law requires riders to obey all warnings and directions and behave in a manner that will not cause or contribute to injuring themselves or others. Riders shall report all injuries before leaving.”
B. Such signs shall be posted at (i) any station designated for reporting an injury, (ii) any first aid station, and (iii) every entrance or exit to or from the premises designated for riders or any area or structure at which riders may purchase admission or obtain authority to use an amusement device.
§ 59.1-523. Enforcement; civil penalties; limitation.
A. Enforcement of the provisions of this chapter may be brought only as follows:
1. Any law-enforcement officer may issue a summons for a violation of this chapter; and
2. The attorney for the county, city or town in which the alleged violation occurred may bring an action to recover the civil penalty authorized by subsection B.
B. Except for the failure to report an injury, any person who violates the provisions of this chapter may be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $500. Such penalty shall be paid into the local treasury.
§ 59.1-524. Common law doctrines not affected.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to repeal or diminish in any respect common law doctrines, which shall continue in full force and effect nor shall a violation of this chapter constitute negligence per se in any civil action.

Special Conditions:

State law sets uniform statewide regulations amusement devices. Enforcement is the responsibility of each local government’s building inspection department. Local government does not have authority to change the way amusement rides operating within their jurisdiction are regulated.

Washington | Dept. of Labor and Industries | Partial government oversight

Washington Dept. of Labor and Industries

Jurisdiction:
Washington
Agency:
Dept. of Labor and Industries

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes sky rides, dark rides, bungee jumping devices. Excludes waterslides; non-mechanized playground equipment, including slides, trampolines.

Inspection Program:

Annually for mechanical and electrical safety; at each setup for electrical. Annual safety inspections are performed by state certified (NAARSO Level II or equivalent) private inspectors hired by the ride owner or their insurance company. Inspections performed in other states with comparable regulations suffice. Electrical inspections are performed by state or local government inspectors.

Investigative Authority:

L&I usually will suspend the ride’s operating permit while inspectors look for the cause of the problem. Depending on the severity of an accident, private-industry inspectors and L&I inspectors both likely will go to the scene. Once the problem has been fixed, new mechanical and electrical inspections may be required before the ride begins operating again.

Reporting Criteria:

Ride operators must report to the department within 24 hours: 1) any incident or accident where evacuation of a ride results from an electrical or mechanical malfunction or when emergency personnel are needed to assist in the evacuation; and 2) any incident or accident involving personal injury that requires medical treatment, other than ordinary first aid.

Special Conditions:

Waterslides are regulated by the Washington State Dept. of Health.

West Virginia | Division of Labor, Safety Section | Partial government oversight

West Virginia Division of Labor, Safety Section

Jurisdiction:
West Virginia
Agency:
Division of Labor, Safety Section

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes inflatables (rentals as well). Excludes amusement devices of a permanent nature which are subject to building regulations issued by cities or counties and existing applicable safety orders.

Inspection Program:

Rides are inspected annually before first use. Since 2005, inspections have been performed by approved private inspectors. Inspectors must have current NAARSO Level I certification or the equivalent.

Investigative Authority:

The state has authority to investigate accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

An owner or operator of an amusement ride or attraction must notify the Division not later than twenty-four hours after any fatality or accident occurring as a result of the operation of the amusement ride or amusement attraction that results in a serious physical injury to any person requiring medical treatment or results in a loss of consciousness to any person. “Serious injury” means an injury that results in death, loss of consciousness, or requires medical treatment by a physician or other medical professional for which a record is created.

Patron Responsibility Law:

Potentially enforced through reference to ASTM F770:
5. Patron Responsibility
5.1 There are inherent risks in the participation in or on any amusement ride, device, or attraction. Patrons of an amusement ride, device, or attraction, by participation, accept the risks inherent in such participation of which the ordinary prudent person is or should be aware. Patrons have a duty to exercise good judgment and act in a responsible manner while using the amusement ride, device, or attraction and to obey all oral or written warnings, or both, prior to or during participation, or both.
5.2 Patrons have a duty to not participate in or on any amusement ride, device, or attraction when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
5.3 Patrons have a duty to properly use all ride or device safety equipment provided.

Wisconsin | Dept. of Commerce, Safety and Building Division | Partial government oversight

Wisconsin Dept. of Commerce, Safety and Building Division

Jurisdiction:
Wisconsin
Agency:
Dept. of Commerce, Safety and Building Division

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered:

Includes go-karts, bungee jumps, walk-throughs, inflatables, giant slides, and animal rides. Vehicles include parking lot trams, old fire engines, stage coaches and trains. Applies to amusement rides (permanent or portable) that are open to the public. Excludes non-mechanized playground equipment, such as slides; climbing walls that do not involve a mechanical take-up or release system.

Inspection Program:

All rides/devices are subject to periodic inspection by the department. Plans for permanent rides must be approved by the Division and inspected by the division prior to opening.

Investigative Authority:

State inspectors are authorized to investigate serious accidents.

Reporting Criteria:

Injuries to frequenters caused by amusement rides that require more than first aid treatment shall be reported by the owner to the department within 2 business days of the injury. Fatalities caused by amusement rides shall be reported to the department or the state division of emergency management within 24 hours of occurrence.

Wyoming | No state agency w/jurisdiction

Wyoming

Jurisdiction:
Wyoming

Overview

Unless otherwise indicated, “devices covered” includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Inspection Program:

None

Investigative Authority:

None

Reporting Criteria:

None

Special Conditions:

State law requires that carnival rides be licensed by county or local government if a fee is charged. Rides must carry a minimum $500,000 insurance coverage in order to be licensed. The law allows county/local government to inspect rides, but does not require it.