New amusement ride safety standards in effect for parks, fairs across Ohio

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BROOKLYN, Ohio (WJW) — As Memphis Kiddie Park in Brooklyn heads into its busiest season, new safety standards for amusement rides are in effect due to Tyler’s Law.

“Anything that makes a ride safer is a good thing.  When it first took effect, a lot of people didn’t realize how it applied to them.  We didn’t think it included kiddie rides, only high level rides,” said owner Russell Wintner.

But according to Wintner, six out of his 11 kiddie rides were flagged by inspectors with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“We repaired them within a week and then the rides were inspected again,” said Wintner.

The new regulations are named after Tyler Jarrell, who was thrown from the Fireball Ride at the Ohio State Fair back in July 2017. The ride came apart because of corrosion.

“The biggest change is say you have a pipe where there is a little bit of rust.  Before, you would brush it off and repaint it.  Not anymore. Now you look and make sure there isn’t any material or structural loss,” said Wintner.

The new rules also place each ride into four different categories, ranging from low intensity to roller coaster.

According to the state, the larger the ride, the more inspections are required. Four years later, Jarrell’s mother says she is grateful there is a law that improves amusement ride safety and inspection standards.

“And to see it in action is very fulfilling,” said Amber Duffield, mother.

Tyler’s Law actually took effect in November 2020 but due to COVID-19, this summer will be the first time it’s enforced.

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