Illinois Department of Labor provides safety tips for millions of
families visiting amusement parks, street festivals and carnivals
Department conducts ride inspections throughout the year to ensure
rides and attractions meet safety standards
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[May 28, 2008]
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 the state, the Illinois Department of Labor is offering tips
on how to stay safe while enjoying amusement rides and attractions.
The department is responsible for inspecting rides that are open to
the public -- before they are permitted to operate -- to ensure that
rides meet safety requirements and are operated according to
"As thousands of children and families head out to carnivals to
enjoy amusement rides and attractions this summer, our trained
inspectors are working tirelessly to inspect thousands of rides
throughout the year," said Department of Labor Director Catherine
Shannon. "We also want to remind parents and kids of their
responsibility to follow all posted rules and operator instructions
for a safe and enjoyable visit."
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 and fairs that are open to the public. Under the
law, the department is required to conduct an annual inspection of
rides and attractions to ensure they meet safety standards. Once the
inspections are completed, the department issues permits for the
rides and attractions, which include carnival rides, inflatable
attractions, carousels, kiddie trains, trams, ski lifts, rope tows,
go-kart tracks, dry slides, mobile climbing walls and power
The Illinois Department of Labor is offering the following
guidelines to help visitors to amusement parks and fairs stay safe
while having fun:
Amusement rides or
attractions should not be operated for public use without a
current (2008) permit sticker issued by the Illinois Department
of Labor. Make sure the ride has a permit sticker affixed to it.
View a copy of the department's permit at
Read and follow
all posted rules and observe age, height and weight
restrictions. Their purpose is to keep you safe.
instructions given to you by the ride operator.
Walk -- do not run
-- near or around rides.
equipment such as seat belts, shoulder harnesses and lap bars
Remain seated and
keep head, hands, arms and feet inside the ride at all times.
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Do not 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 or
friend is afraid of the ride, never force them to ride.
Stay seated in the
ride until it comes to a full and complete stop.
Observe the ride
in operation before riding it. If something looks wrong, don't
Report unsafe conditions, accidents or
rides without state permits to appropriate authorities,
including the Illinois Department of Labor.
To further protect children who attend carnivals and attractions
statewide, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation in 2007 that
prohibits convicted sex offenders and others convicted of violent
crimes from operating rides. The legislation requires owners and
operators to conduct criminal background checks on ride operators
prior to hiring them. The law also requires owners to implement a
substance-abuse policy for carnival workers, which includes random
Anyone who operates amusement rides or amusement attractions that
are open to the public without having obtained the required 2008
state permit from the Illinois Department of Labor is guilty of a
Class A misdemeanor and may face fines of up to $2,500. To report
someone who is operating rides or attractions without a state
permit, please contact local law enforcement immediately and the
Department of Labor at 217-782-9347.
Department of Labor file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]