Ohio ride industry details safety steps taken over the last year

Local News

Tyler’s Law will bring common sense changes to Ohio’s ride inspection program—that’s what the attorney for Tyler Jarrell’s mother had to say about the new bill just introduced this week.

Mark Kitrick said the bill is simple, obvious and common sense. He said he was shocked by what he learned about the nation and Ohio’s ride industry after taking on the case.

“I was stunned,” he said. “First of all, I couldn’t believe this, no one can, that there are no national standards and then for the state of Ohio, we need to be a leader and we’re not.”

He said Ohio has to do more to keep riders safe and that lawmakers must take action to protect people.

“It’s up to the lawmakers, that’s the only way it’s going to get done and I applaud those in the Legislature that are going to make the law better for people and safer for consumers,” he said.

Kitrick said the state hasn’t been transparent since the tragedy.

“That’s the problem, we don’t have transparency,” he said. “The state has to step up they need to take leadership on this and really show people they’re going to make changes that benefit and protect people.”

With fair season just a few weeks away, the Ohio amusement industry is taking matters into its own hands; for the first time issuing a news release detailing steps the industry has taken over the past year to address amusement ride safety for the 2018 fair and festival season.

The release is from the Greater Ohio Showmen’s Association, Ohio Fair Managers Association, and Ohio Festivals and Events Association. It said working within existing rules and regulations, it has implemented a four-point check and balance protocol to ensure rides with potential corrosion issues are properly maintained and inspected before being licensed to operate in Ohio. Corrosion is what was blamed for the fatal Fireball accident at the 2017 Ohio State Fair that killed Tyler Jarrell and seriously injured seven others.

“Our goal this festival season, and every festival season is zero accidents, and complete public confidence in Ohio’s amusement industry,” said David Drake, President of the Greater Ohio Showmen’s Association.

The release said the tragic accident prompted the industry to, “aggressively engage with government regulators, national safety organizations, and amusement ride manufacturers to ensure a system of checks and balances is adhered to as it pertains to amusement ride safety.” It went on to say that, “Any ride accident is of concern to the industry. An accident resulting in injury or loss of life is totally unacceptable.”

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) was not involved in this announcement. NBC4 has asked the ODA if its made any changes to its ride inspection program since the accident. It hasn’t answered that question and has denied multiple requests for an on-camera interview.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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