provides safety tips for families visiting amusement parks, street
festivals and carnivals this summer
Department of Labor conducts safety inspections to ensure rides and
attractions are safe for families expected during the Memorial Day
weekend and throughout the summer
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[May 26, 2007]
CHICAGO -- With summer just
around the corner and millions of people expected to make their way
to popular amusement parks, festivals, street fairs and carnivals
across Illinois, the Illinois Department of Labor is offering
families tips on how to stay safe while enjoying amusement rides and
attractions. The department inspects rides that are open to the
public -- before they are permitted to operate -- to ensure that
families are safe.
"As families head to carnivals and enjoy amusement rides and
attractions, it's important to remind them of their responsibility
to stay safe by following all posted rules and operator
instructions," said Catherine Shannon, director of the Department of
Labor. "The department is doing its part with trained inspectors
conducting thousands of inspections throughout the year to make sure
rides are safe. I am proud of our inspection team, and as a parent,
am confident that the rides we inspect are safe and secure."
ensure safety at these attractions, the department offers the
Make sure the ride
has a current permit sticker issued by the 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, which include
inflatable rides, commonly called moonwalks or bounces, should
not be operated for public use without a permit from the
department and a trained operator. You may view the department's
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 of the ride.
If a child is
afraid of the ride, it's probably best not to put her or him on
the ride. Never force a 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.
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Walk, don't run,
and hold on to handles provided.
Remain seated, and
keep hands, arms and feet inside the ride at all times.
equipment, such as a seat belt, shoulder harness, lap bar or
chain when provided.
Stay in the ride
until it comes to a complete stop.
The Department of Labor enforces the Carnival and Amusement Rides
Safety Act to regulate amusement rides and attractions in Illinois
and inspects nearly 5,000 rides each year at stationary parks,
traveling carnivals or fairs that are open to the public. The law
requires an annual safety inspection to be conducted by the
department before permits are issued to amusement rides, amusement
attractions, inflatable attractions, ski lifts, rope tows, go-kart
tracks, aerial trams, dry slides, mobile climbing walls and bungee
To further improve compliance with state laws, Gov. Rod R.
Blagojevich signed legislation in 2006 that improved the
department's enforcement of the act by granting the director the
authority to legally obtain through subpoena any evidence related to
an investigation or hearing.
Anyone who operates an amusement ride or amusement attraction
open to the public without having obtained a permit from the
Illinois Department of Labor is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. If
you find someone who is operating rides or attractions without the
required state of Illinois permit, please report it immediately to
local law enforcement and the Department of Labor at 217-782-9347.
[Text from Illinois
Department of Labor news release received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]