AMUSEMENT RIDE REGULATONS – TEXAS

Current as of September 30, 2009

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is the state’s administrator for the Amusement Ride Safety Inspection and Insurance Act, Occupations Code Chapter 2151. To legally operate in Texas, an amusement ride owner/operator must file with TDI an insurance policy with certain minimum limits for bodily injury for persons using the ride and an annual amusement ride safety inspection certificate. The inspection is performed by an approved inspector of the insurance company. Rides meeting the requirements will be issued a TDI Amusement Ride Compliance Sticker (similar to an automobile safety inspection sticker), which will indicate the expiration date of the inspection certificate. The sticker should be affixed to a major component of each ride in a location visible to the ride participants.

The amusement ride owner/operator is required to provide a photocopy of the inspection certificate and the required insurance policy to any sponsor, lessor, landowner or other person responsible for amusement rides publicly used.

An amusement ride inspection certificate indicates the ride has met the standards required by the manufacturer, insurer, or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Recognition by the Department that the amusement ride has satisfied these standards is not an endorsement by the Department or a statement regarding the safe operation of the amusement ride.

What’s considered as an amusement ride?

Most mobile carnival rides
Most theme park rides
Most water park rides and devices
Amusement rides also include, but are not limited to the following:
consession go-karts, rock climbing walls, bungee jumps, mechanical bulls, trackless trains, continuous air flow inflatable rides/devices and various simulators.

What’s not considered as an amusement ride?

Non-mechanized playground equipment
Physical fitness/training devices or obstacle/ropes course equipment
Public conveyance devices
Coin operated rides
Small rides or devices that do not require the supervision or service of an operator
Live animal rides
Motor Sports

What should the public look for at a carnival or amusement ride?

“Look for the Sticker” – A compliance sticker should be attached to each ride, List of Current Stickers.
“Look for the Sign” – A sign is required to inform the public how to report (on-site) an amusement ride that appears to be unsafe or to report an amusement ride operator that appears to be violating the law. The sign is to be posted at the principal entrance or at the ticket booths.
Look for posted height/weight restrictions for riders on certain rides.

Who’s in charge?

A municipal, county or state law enforcement official may enter and inspect without notice at any time to ensure public safety and may immediately prohibit operation of an amusement ride for non-compliance and/or unsafe operation.
If requested by law enforcement an amusement ride owner/operator must make available the following documents for each ride:
A copy of the insurance policy
A copy of the inspection certificate
A daily self inspection log (mobile rides only)
An offense for non-compliance is a Class B misdemeanor.

What’s available on amusement rides from TDI?

Insurance policies/certificates
Annual inspection certificates
Injury reports – filed quarterly by the amusement ride owner/operator
Governmental action reports (police, judicial or government action taken in law forum) – filed quarterly by the amusement ride owner/operator
Schedule of operating locations and dates for mobile operations
Check with TDI to see if an amusement ride owner/operator is in compliance.
To view a list of Amusement Ride Policy Information

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call the Texas Department of Insurance at 512-322-3435 or fax to 512-305-7425.

STATUTE
Occupation Code, Subtitle D. Other Amusements and Entertainment, Chapter 2151. Regulation of Amusement Rides, Subchapter A. General Provisions

ADMINISTRATIVE RULES
Texas Administrative Code, 28 TAC, Chapter Five, Subchapter J, Rules to Implement the Amusement Ride Safety Inspection and Insurance Act §5.9001 through 5.9014.

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Click here for information on Used amusement park equipment.

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