Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: March 3, 2011

Sen. Frank Simpson
Sen. Frank Simpson

Amusement Ride Bill Rolls Through Senate

A measure to ensure better safety for homemade amusement rides was approved Tuesday by the Senate. Sen. Frank Simpson is author of Senate Bill 379, which would require inspection and certification of homemade amusement rides brought to public venues.

“Every community has events at public parks, churches, fairgrounds and other places where there may be homemade amusement rides brought in to entertain children,” said Simpson, R-Springer. “These events are wonderful for communities, but we need to make sure those rides are safe. Unfortunately, I had a incident in my district last year where a child was killed and others were injured on a homemade ride.”

Simpson explained the incident happened last November at a fundraiser at the Love County Fairgrounds. A homemade “barrel train” was being used to pull children around inside the livestock building. Somehow the train overturned and an 8-year-old girl was killed and seven other children were injured. Two of those injured were flown to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

“This was a tragic accident. The driver was found not at fault. The only questions that remained were in regards to the design, stability and engineering integrity of the train,” said Simpson. “My bill will help prevent future accidents like this one but making sure that homemade amusement rides are inspected by a professional before being used.”

SB 379 would require owners of any homemade amusement ride that is to be used in public forums, and would be an enticement or attraction for children, to obtain a state permit and certificate of inspection by the Department of Labor prior to public use. Those convicted of violation would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $50 to $1,000. If a child 15 years of age or younger is killed on a ride that is found in violation, the owner would be charged with a felony and would face a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, and/or imprisonment for up to four years.

The bill does not pertain to homemade rides designed, constructed and used:

· by parents or stepparents for their children and family’s private use

· by children under the age of 16

· by those 16 years of age or older, with or without participation by other individuals 16 years of age or older

· according to a manufacturer’s instructions, purpose and design

· solely on private property by the owner/ operator of the device and that person’s guests and the property is not open to the general public to allow them to ride in or on the device.

For more information contact:
Sen. Simpson: (405) 521-5607

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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