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6/26/2014

Agriculture Secretary Encourages Pennsylvanians to Be Safe while Enjoying Amusement Rides and Attractions

News for Immediate Release

June 26, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Encourages Pennsylvanians to Be Safe while Enjoying Amusement Rides and Attractions

Governor Corbett Proclaims Amusement Ride Safety Week June 22-28

Elysburg – Agriculture Secretary George Greig today reminded adventure seekers looking for thrills on amusement rides across Pennsylvania they should follow basic safety guidelines.

“Pennsylvania has plenty of opportunities for summer fun but safety should be your top priority when riding amusement rides and attractions,” said Greig.

Approximately 70 percent of injuries on rides occur because of rider error.

“The most important thing in the amusement business is the safety of our guests, and we diligently labor to ensure that our rides are operating properly and safely,” said Dick Knoebel. “We are extremely proud to feature Flying Turns, one of the most unique rides in the world – and the only one of its kind – for the amusement of our guests.”

Knoebel said Flying Turns is the only operating trackless wooden roller coaster in the world, the first of its kind since 1974. Similar rides in existence today do not include a wooden structure, which was part of the original Flying Turns design.

Greig offered safety tips to riders for all amusement rides and attractions across the state:

  • Look for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania registration plate on the ride and the public notice sign verifying it has been inspected according to Pennsylvania Amusement Ride Safety Act standards.
  • Before getting in line for the ride, check and follow boarding restrictions, including those for medical concerns, height and weight.
  • Listen carefully to all instructions. Operators are trained to keep riders safe.
  • Make sure ride operators are alert. Never board a ride if the operator appears to be inattentive.
  • Stay in to stay safe. Keep your arms, hands, feet and legs inside the ride at all times. Always remain on the ride until it comes to a complete stop.
  • Use shoulder harnesses, seat belts, lap bars or chains appropriately.
  • Stop riding before you get tired. Tired riders are more likely to be injured than alert riders.
  • Stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water can increase your risk of injury or illness on some rides.
  • When riding with or assisting a child, know their capabilities and take an active role in determining whether a ride is appropriate. Instruct your child on acceptable ride behavior before boarding. Always supervise your child on a ride. Ask the operator to stop the ride if you see that your child is crying or shows any other signs of distress.

The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards registers nearly 9,500 amusement rides and attractions – more than any other state or foreign country – and certifies and trains the state’s more than 1,400 professional private industry inspectors.

The department has inspected and registered amusement rides under the Amusement Ride Safety Act since 1984. It regularly participates in education and outreach seminars that include classes and hands-on demonstrations for ride operators and inspectors.

Visit the new www.ridesafe.pa.gov to view all inspected rides across Pennsylvania.

Amusement rides are a staple of Pennsylvania’s 109 county and community fairs. For a complete listing of the state’s fairs, including locations and dates, view the 2014 Pennsylvania Fair Guide online at www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search “Fair Guide.”

For more information about ride safety or the Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards, call 717-787-6772 or visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search “Amusement Rides.”

Media contact: Samantha Elliott Krepps, 717-787-5085

Editor’s Note: The text of Governor Corbett’s proclamation declaring Amusement Ride Safety Week in Pennsylvania, from June 22-28, follows.

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is home to nearly 9,500 amusement rides and attractions that provide entertainment to millions of visitors at the state’s county and community fairs, carnivals and amusement parks, totaling more than any other state or foreign country; and

WHEREAS, to ensure the mechanical and physical safety of amusement rides and their safe enjoyment by all ride patrons, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards administers the state’s amusement ride safety program and is a national leader in ride inspection and safety; and

WHEREAS, the department works cooperatively with the amusement ride industry, certifying and training more than 1,400 professional private industry inspectors to ensure every ride in Pennsylvania is inspected and registered. For quality assurance, an additional staff of inspectors is employed by the commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the commonwealth is committed to amusement ride inspector training and regularly leads and participates in national safety education and outreach programs that include workshops and hands-on demonstrations; and

WHEREAS, consumers play a role in ensuring their own safety while riding amusement attractions. Amusements are best enjoyed as intended, without the addition of rider-added thrills.

THEREFORE, in recognition of the cooperative roles of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the amusement ride industry and ride patrons in keeping amusement attractions safe for all to enjoy, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim June 22-28, 2014 as Amusement Ride Safety Week in Pennsylvania.

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