New York State Fair: Amusement Ride Safety

08.23.16 | Bob Price

Before the fun begins this Thursday at the New York State Fair, safety comes first.

With amusement parks across the country under scrutiny for ride-related accidents and deaths ─ the Fair is keeping all safety inspections as planned.

“Last year there was a bump of cars on one of the roller coasters,” said Troy Waffner, acting director for the NYS Fair. “That ride was shut down for at least a day as each ride inspector went over and everybody felt comfortable about opening it back up. There’s a huge of inspection and it’s something we take extremely seriously.”

Several rides have already been set up, so those safety inspections are already underway. Any rides that have not yet been set up will undergo a three-step safety inspection by the New York State Department of Labor.

The safety inspection includes a safety check for defects on all individual parts of each ride before they’re put together.  Then, the ride is assembled and inspected again.

During the fair, operators are observed & rides are inspected regularly.

Ride operators are expected to keep their eyes on the ride at all times and make sure all passengers are buckled in ─ that means no cell phones or other distractions.

This year, the Fair will have the most rides its ever had ─ running at least 75. Each one will get a stamp of approval that it’s safe before it runs on opening day.

“In previous years we’ve actually taken rides off the Fairgrounds that just couldn’t get fixed in time or we didn’t feel were up to the snuff we wanted,” Waffner said.

Ride safety goes beyond inspections ─ fairgoers are also expected to follow all rules and regulations posted for each ride.

The rides are provided by Wade Shows, which also contributes to safety inspections, along with an outside consultant contracted by the Fair.