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Fried wants better safety for amusement attraction riders

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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants to boost safety requirements for amusement park rides under a framework for proposed legislation on ride and rider safety. The legislative framework stems from a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) investigation into circumstances surrounding the death of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson who fell from a ride at an Orlando amusement park earlier this year.

“When accidents occur, often it’s because many small issues happen at the same time to create a perfect storm,” Fried said in a written statement. “This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue – this is a safety issue, and as leaders, we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that these rides are safe for the people of Florida.”

The draft for the legislative framework includes posting signs detailing rider warnings and weight and height requirements, increasing requirements to document maintenance as well as changes to safety systems and restraints, and requiring that safety sensors and other limiting devices may not be adjusted beyond the maximum tolerance contained in the manufacturer’s original settings.

The legislative framework also allows for unannounced inspections by amusement ride monitoring program personnel and the immediate removal of rides from service if violations are found.
The FDACS will continue to incorporate additional proposals into the draft framework as the investigation progresses and once it is complete, Fried said.

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