State provides safety tips for families visiting amusement parks,
street festivals and carnivals this summer
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[JUNE 9, 2006]
CHICAGO -- The Illinois Department of Labor has
announced safety tips reminding visitors how to stay safe while
having fun on amusement rides and attractions. With summer beginning
and millions of Illinoisans and visitors from other states expected
to make their way to popular amusement parks, festivals, street
fairs and carnivals across Illinois, the department is ensuring all
rides are licensed, safe and secure.
"Illinois has a variety of amusement parks and traveling carnivals,
and we want parents and visitors to know that we're out there making
sure that rides are safe for them and their children to enjoy," said
Art Ludwig, director of the Illinois Department of Labor. "We remain
committed to safeguarding Illinois families by inspecting amusement
rides and attractions and are proud of our safety record. By
announcing these safety measures, we hope to create awareness among
the general public and encourage them to be as vigilant as we are."
To ensure safety at these attractions, the department offers the
Make sure the ride
has a current 2006 permit sticker issued by the Illinois
Department of Labor. If you do not see it affixed to the ride,
ask to see it before you get on. All amusement rides or
attractions -- including inflatable rides, commonly called
moonwalks or bounces -- should not be operated for public use
without a permit from the department. To see a sample permit,
Don't assume a ride
is safe for small children if you
hold on to them.
Talk to your
children so they know what to expect on the ride.
If your child is
afraid of the ride, it's probably best not to put her or him on
the ride. Never force your child or friend to ride.
Read and follow all
posted rules, and observe age, height and weight restrictions.
If they are not posted, ask.
instructions given to you by the ride operator.
Walk, don't run,
and hold on to handles provided.
Remain seated, and
keep hands, arms and feet inside ride at all times.
equipment, such as a seat belt, shoulder harness, lap bar or
chain when provided.
Stay in the vehicle
until it comes to a complete stop.
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"IDOL has continuously done an outstanding job in its efforts to
maintain a good working relationship with the amusement industry and
educating patrons on the safety issues related to amusement rides
and attractions," said Rick Haney, executive secretary of the
Showmen's League of America. "Carnival and park owners are in the
business of entertaining and do not want anyone to leave their
midway or park after having a bad experience, or worse, injured.
Safety issues and responsibilities are serious concerns to IDOL,
carnival or park operator, and patrons must also be aware of their
part in the same."
The Department of Labor enforces the Carnival
and Amusement Rides Safety Act throughout the state and inspects
nearly 5,000 rides at stationary parks, traveling carnivals and
fairs that are open to the public at least once a year. The law
requires the annual safety inspection before permits can be issued
to amusement rides, amusement attractions, inflated attractions, ski
lifts, rope tows, go-kart tracks, aerial trams, dry slides, mobile
climbing walls and bungee jumping.
Gov. Blagojevich signed legislation on May 25 that improves the
department's enforcement of the Carnival and Amusement Rides Safety
Act. Sponsored by Rep. Angelo Saviano, R-River Grove, and Sen. Don
Harmon, D-Oak Park,
House Bill 4904 grants the director the authority to legally
obtain through subpoena any evidence related to an investigation or
hearing, gives authority to establish training and qualification
requirements for amusement ride inspectors, and increases the
membership of the Carnival-Amusement Safety Board from five to eight
The Department of Labor regulates the amusement park industry,
rides and amusement attractions in Illinois and ensures that rides
are safe and in compliance with state laws. Any person who operates
an amusement ride or attraction open to the public without having
obtained a permit from the Illinois Department of Labor is guilty of
a Class A misdemeanor. If someone is operating rides or attractions
illegally or without the required state permit, please report it
immediately to local law enforcement and the Illinois Department of
Labor at (217) 782-9347.
Department of Labor news release]