Inspecting the Inspectors: More concerns about Ohio’s ride inspection program

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In the wake of the Ohio State Fair accident more people are coming forward with concerns about Ohio’s ride inspection program. They said it’s not keeping up with the ever-changing industry.

We first met Lori Pingle, one of the owners of ZipZone Outdoor Adventures in Columbus, at an Ohio Advisory Board on Amusement Ride Safety meeting last week. It’s a meeting that at times got very heated because she said many in the ride industry don’t feel like they’re being heard.

At the meeting, many frustrated ride and business owners spoke out about Ohio’s ride inspection program. Pingle voiced concerns about inspectors struggling to keep up.

“There are some products out there being inspected and the inspectors don’t know much about it,” she said at the meeting.

We visited Pingle’s Adventure Park in the trees on north High Street in Columbus and learned while the Ohio Department of Agriculture inspects traditional rides, it also inspects things like aerial courses

“We have something very different in the industry. We don’t have a fair ride or rollercoaster or bumper cars. For us, to have state inspectors coming to inspect our course, we want to make sure they have a good base of knowledge that we know they don’t have at this point,” said Pingle.

She said she’s approached the ODA about working together to learn more about her part of the ride industry, but said she feels like no one is listening.

“We don’t feel like we’re being heard, so we have a very unique part of the industry, and we think the inspection should be approached in a very unique way, and we don’t feel like that’s happening,” said Pingle.

The ODA declined our on-camera interview request about Ohio’s ride inspection program.

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