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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carnival rides mostly unregulated
Unlike many other states, Oregon does not verify safety information
By Tracey Lowe
Statesman Journal, from www.registerguard.com
Monday, Jul 25, 2011
SALEM — It’s the height of festival season and for many kids that means thrills — as in the Zipper, the Sizzler or the Tilt-A-Whirl.

But who’s making sure those traveling rides are properly maintained, set up and operated?

In Oregon, the answer is no one.

Even worse, regulators say, a state permit affixed to each ride gives the false appearance of oversight.

To get the permit, ride operators submit a form each year showing that the ride has had a private inspection and is insured, and pay a $28 fee.

That’s it.

Unlike many other states, Oregon doesn’t independently verify the information on the form.

It doesn’t require those contracted ride inspectors to be nationally certified.

It doesn’t enforce safety rules or investigate or track accidents.

It also doesn’t require ride operators to be certified, although they must be at least 18 years old.

Earlier this year, state officials asked lawmakers to either fund a comprehensive oversight program or remove the state from regulation altogether, making it clear to riders that there is no government oversight.

The current regulatory structure “creates an appearance, but not the reality, of comprehensive oversight of amusement rides,” Pat Allen, acting administrator of the state Building Codes Division, told lawmakers.

“The building codes seal that a parent sees on an amusement ride may imply that we provide more safety oversight and regulation than we actually do,” Allen said.
read more:
http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/26603242-41/ride-amusement-state-oregon-oversight.html.csp

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