Amusement Park Injury Laws
Amusement Park Safety Regulations
There are two main categories of amusement park rides: fixed-site and mobile.
Fixed-site rides are permanent and are not moved from location to location. Examples of a fixed-site amusement park in New Jersey is Six Flags Great Adventure or Morey’s Pier.
Mobile amusement rides travel from place to place, such as rides that you find at carnivals and county fairs.
Additionally, there are some amusement rides that are classified as inflatable amusement attractions, such as moon bounces and inflatable slides; these types of attractions are not governed under any safety regulations in New Jersey.
Safety Regulations for Mobile Amusement Rides
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, or the CPSC, is the governing authority that regulates mobile amusement park rides.
While the CPSC is responsible for setting the safety standards as well as overseeing and investigating injuries at mobile parks, the commission does not conduct inspections of every carnival or fair. The lack of inspections becomes an even bigger concern when paired with the fact that the implementation of these safety standards is voluntary, not mandatory.
Lack of Safety Laws for Fixed-Site Amusement Rides
Unfortunately, the CPSC does not have the power to regulate or inspect fixed-site amusement rides. In fact, there are no federally-regulated safety measures for amusement rides that are classified as fixed-site.
While some states enforce safety regulations for fixed-site rides, there is no national standard for safety. The exclusion of fixed-site rides from the CPSC’s authority is often referred to as the “Roller Coaster Loophole” and has become quite a controversial issue for safety regulation.
Many times, these fixed-site rides are not held to the same level of maintenance and safety inspections as those of carnivals and mobile rides. This is especially concerning in New Jersey, as many of the parks that we love and visit with our families are fixed-site amusement parks.
When the authority to regulate fixed-site rides was taken away from the CPSC in the 80’s, the responsibility fell on the state and local governments.
The New Jersey Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Act
In New Jersey, fixed-site amusement park regulations are governed by the Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Act. This act established an annual safety inspection program for fixed-site rides, through which rides that pass inspection are given a green sticker and those that have not are given red stickers.
Additional safety regulations governed by the Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Act include:
- Fixed-ride manufacturers must have their rides certified before it can be sold for operation in New Jersey
- Owners of fixed-site rides must register each ride with an annual permit, which requires annual as well as random operational inspections throughout the year
Reporting Injury at a New Jersey Amusement Park
In the unfortunate event that you or your loved one is injured at an amusement park in New Jersey, it is extremely important that you reach out to a legal team for help. Here at Dansky | Katz | Ringold | York, we recommended that you speak with an experienced amusement park personal injury lawyer on our team prior to speaking to any representatives on behalf of the amusement park.