Understanding the complex regulations governing amusement rides
In a recent post, we discussed the inconsistency of thrill ride regulations across the United States. As demonstrated by ongoing injuries and fatalities at amusement parks and carnivals, the inconsistent patchwork of regulations across the United States does not seem to be keeping families as safe as possible.
Today we’re taking a closer look at rides in our own backyard. How are rides inspected and operated in New York State?
Government oversight in New York
In New York state, we are lucky to have a fairly robust public inspection program. New York is one of 24 states with comprehensive government inspection and accident investigation programs. This means that accidents are less likely to occur since equipment is inspected regularly – and, when accidents do happen, they will be investigated by professionals who can use the information to prevent future accidents.
The NYS Department of Labor inspects rides at amusement parks, traveling carnivals and other events within the state (with the exception of New York City – see below). The Department maintains a database of inspections and violations on its website, where parents can look for detailed information about rides and parks in their area.
NYC is different
In the worlds of government regulation personal injury law, of course, there are always exceptions. The five boroughs of New York City – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island – have their own system of ride regulation. Events and amusement rides in the city are inspected by the New York City Department of Buildings. There is also a database of licenses maintained by the New York Department of Consumer Affairs.