South Dakota carnival ride safety bill moves to House floor - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota carnival ride safety bill moves to House floor

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A House bill which proposes to ensure a safe time for South Dakotans at carnivals this summer, passed out of the Commerce and Energy committee Friday morning.

KSFY News first brought the lack of oversight on carnival rides to the attention of state representative Steve Hickey last year.

Hickey's bill, HB 1168, establishes guidelines for inspection requirements and rider responsibility.

The bill received a vote of twelve yeas and only one nay.  The lone dissenting vote came from state representative Stace Nelson.

The committee heard supportive testimony from the president of Thomas Carnival Inc., John Hanschen.  Thomas Carnival Inc. operates carnivals in several different states. Hanschen approved of the legislation.

There was no opposing testimony.

An amendment to the bill would allow carnival operators to present proof of an inspection completed during the last twelve months, rather than during the current calendar year, in order to meet the safety requirements.

State Senator Al Novstrup sponsored the bill along with Rep. Hickey.  Novstrup runs a family entertainment center and recognized carnivals come with special challenges due to traveling from one town to the next.

Several committee members wondered about penalties and questioned if the bill had enough 'bite' to it.  Most agreed it was step in the right direction and that they could make revisions next year if necessary.






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