Are the amusement rides safe in New Jersey?
Amusement park rides are rolling and spinning across the state at boardwalks and local fairs, and there's a lot of work involved in keeping these rides safe for our kids.
According to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, every ride that receives a permit in the state gets an annual inspection.
"The inspection consists of inspecting the mechanical components of the ride for wear and proper maintenance, a visual inspection of all welds and fasteners…inspection of the structural components of the ride for corrosion, inspection for proper operation and condition of the passenger restraints and a full inspection of the ride's electrical system," a department spokesperson said.
In addition, the department said, rides are inspected periodically throughout the summer.
Al Dorso, part of the team that's responsible for bringing the State Fair to the Meadowlands each year, said New Jersey has the most rigid inspection system in the country.
"Every ride that's in the state of New Jersey has to be reverse engineered by the state," Dorso said.
A dozen inspectors, in addition to the fair's crew, have been on hand watching the set-up of the fair, which opens to the public on Friday.
According to Dorso, the state will be present for each day of the fair's run, double-checking important safety points.
"We're set to a higher standard because of what we are and how many people we draw to the rides," he said.
About 400,000 people attend the fair each year.
The state recently released a list of "Do's and Don'ts" for riders:
- Read and obey all written and verbal instructions, and observe all age, height and weight restrictions;
- Fasten safety equipment such as seatbelts, shoulder harnesses and lap bars before the ride begins;
- Keep limbs inside the ride at all times;
- Stay in the ride and keep all safety equipment fastened until the ride comes to a complete stop and the ride operator instructs people to exit;
- Refrain from throwing any object from a ride or behave in a reckless manner; and
- Not enter a ride without the supervision of an operator.