I-Team uncovers big mystery with system for inspecting rides at fairs and carnivals

The FOX 8 I TEAM has found the state doesn’t know how many carnival amusement rides fail inspections.

We discovered that as we started investigating the inspection system following last month’s fatal accident when a ride malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair.

Inspectors have a long checklist to use when they check out rides. So the I TEAM asked how many rides fail and get ordered out of service.

But the State Department of Agriculture oversees Ohio’s amusement ride inspections. And the state doesn’t track how many rides fail.

In fact, Ohio inspectors still rely on a system with paper forms. Some we’ve reviewed have violations or problems hand-written at the bottom with orders to have the problems corrected before the rides are put into operation.

That surprised parents we met at the Medina County Fair. It also surprised the head of a trade group called the Outdoor Amusement Business Association. Bob Johnson said other states have been moving toward keeping inspection records electronically. Some states even use a system giving rides license plates to keep track of them. Johnson said, "That license plate has a history of that particular ride. Even if that ride is sold to another owner." He added, "I think it’s important, so they have a history of rides."

The I TEAM has also requested the number of rides which malfunction or break down after being inspected.

We are also waiting for the final word on the cause of the deadly accident at the Ohio State Fair. That ride had been inspected; then for some reason, it broke apart with riders on it.

**Read more, here**