How safe are those rides you see at county fairs throughout the summer?

No ride can legally operate in New York State without a permit. The Department of Labor inspects every ride at traveling carnivals or fairs every time they are set up at a new location. The ones at stationary parks outside of New York City are checked at least once a year.

“Our inspectors work diligently and thoroughly to ensure that every piece of equipment functions properly before anyone boards these rides,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon.

Credit - Casey Horner via Unsplash
Credit - Casey Horner via Unsplash

Three-Step Inspection Process

There are more than 50 county and youth fairs that run from July through the middle of September in New York State. In 2022, 7,000 rides were inspected as part of a three-step process.

  • Every individual part of each ride is inspected for defects at every fair or festival.
  • The ride is assembled and inspected again to ensure that all parts are properly secured.
  • The operator must run the ride, and it's inspected once more while operating.

A dated inspection tag is placed on each ride after it has passed inspection. Any ride that fails an inspection can not be used.

Credit - New York State Department of Labor
Credit - New York State Department of Labor

Ride Safe

If you and your family plan on attending one of the 50 fairs throughout the state, remember to ride safe this season.

Respect the rules: Obey age, height, weight, and health restrictions, and follow all directions posted. These rules were created for everyone’s safety.
Don’t pressure: Never force anyone, especially children, to get on something they don’t want to ride.
Buckle up: Always use all safety equipment provided on rides. Keep hands, arms, legs, and feet inside rides at all times.
Stay seated: Remain seated in the ride until it comes to a complete stop and you are instructed to exit.
Keep loose items off rides: Don’t carry loose items like wallets, glasses, cell phones, or hats with you on any ride. They tend to fly off and can result in injury if they hit someone else.

Most importantly, have fun this summer!

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