Fair rides need better regulation, testing

Malorie West

The Ark-La-Miss Fair was in town recently, which means the exciting rides people love were unpacked from their little trucks and assembled in less than a week. 

While the fair food is something to look forward to each year, the rides are dangerous and need to be better maintained and inspected. Fair rides should be scary, but nobody’s life should hang in the balance.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are over 30,000 injuries and 22 fatalities from fair ride accidents yearly. Traveling carnivals are not in the same class of amusement parks as Disney World and Six Flags, which are subject to frequent federal inspections.

Nine states lack state regulation of amusement rides entirely, according to SafePark USA. In Louisiana, fair rides are inspected only once a year, no matter how much they get transported.

There is also an issue with fair employees being overworked. These workers taking down and assembling the rides at a fast pace are often the ones operating the rides too.

In addition, mobile amusement parks do not make a huge profit because it takes a lot of money to haul rides, pay workers and pay insurance. This may persuade the individuals responsible for the fair to cut corners wherever they see fit.

Guests’ safety should come first, meaning the extra time and resources needed to ensure this safety should come first as well.

Instead of rushing, fair employees should take their time to thoroughly assemble and dissemble the fair. After each assembly, these rides should be professionally inspected and tested.

People should avoid fairs and their rides until these parks are made safer. But until then, if a person still decides to ride these dangerous rides, the best way to ensure safety is to check all safety restraints, inspect the ride before getting on and follow all instructions before the ride begins.