Safety Requirements for Amusement Park Rides

Updated April 17, 2017

Many amusement park rides have risks associated with them due to their speed and height. Amusement park rides include such things as metal- and wood-based roller coasters, water rides and smaller rides constructed for children. Amusement parks are regulated by state and local governments as well as by industry standards.

State Regulation

States have the authority to put safety regulations into place. Some states, such as Arizona and Texas, require that amusement park owners have a certain amount of liability insurance and become licensed to protect against accidents on rides. Other states, such as Alaska and California, require ride inspection by public officials, mandatory reporting of accidents and investigation of accidents by public officials.

Industry Standards

The amusement park industry has developed a set of standards through the American Society for Testing and Materials to regulate ride-safety requirements. These standards create a minimum for design, manufacturing, operation and maintenance of rides. Standards are voluntary and put into place to protect consumers, manufacturers and amusement park officials. Examples include having minimum height limits to restrict the size of the riders, annual inspections of equipment, and proper training of ride operators and technicians.

International Safety Regulation

International safety regulatory organisations for amusement parks include the Canadian Standard Association, Standards Australia and the European Committee for Standardization. These organisations are working with ASTM to develop standardised safety requirements for amusement parks in Canada, Australia and Europe. Requirements are similar to the ones in place for ASTM and include child-safety precautions, such as limiting children to smaller rides, keeping equipment in top working order and preventing consumers from engaging in dangerous behaviour on rides.

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