Time running out for lawmakers to approve Tyler’s law, ride safety regulations

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Pressure is mounting to get Tyler’s Law pushed through before the end of the year.

The bill is named in honor of Tyler Jarrell who was killed on the Fireball ride at the 2017 Ohio State Fair. 

Lawmakers said our findings through a year’s worth of ‘Inspecting the Inspectors’ reports helped shape the bill. If it’s not on the governor’s desk by Dec. 31, it will have to start the legislative process all over again.

Tyler’s mother Amber Duffield said that’s unacceptable.

Lawmakers have just six weeks to push bills through or watch them disappear.

Duffield said she’ll never let him be forgotten.

“Let’s give that hope back that the state’s going to do right,” said Duffield.

Every day she picks up the phone and tells legislators about her son and Tyler’s Law. She doesn’t care the people on the other end might not want to take her calls.

“They were like you don’t have to call every day.”

But, she does anyway.

“I’m like ya I do. I want to make sure that you understand I’m dedicated to this and I believe in this,” she said.

She does it for Tyler, her only son who got on a ride at the Ohio State Fair and never got off. But, the clock is ticking.

“Unfortunately, because of what the state didn’t do it was a contributing factor to their death and we just can’t have this,” said bill co-sponsor Rep. Jim Hughes.

Hughes said it’s past time to fix what’s broken.

“Unfortunately, we’re lagging behind in Ohio here,” he said. “The status quo is not acceptable.”

Rep. Hughes and fellow sponsor Rep. John Patterson said they’re committed to seeing it pass, but they need your help.

Duffield said pick up the phone, call your lawmaker and tell them this:

“It is not a Republican thing, it is not a Democrat thing, it is not an Independent thing, it is an everybody thing. This affects everyone,” she said. “Help me pester them.”

Tyler’s Law would require the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which runs Ohio’s ride inspection program, to analyze its program to consider hiring more inspectors and inspectors with engineering backgrounds.

Right now, no Ohio ride inspectors are professional engineers and there are just eight inspectors for nearly 4,000 rides.

It would also require inspectors keep ride manuals on file to study and calls for the department to follow all of the voluntary safety standards set out by the industry.

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