Carnival operators react to ride safety bill - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Carnival operators react to ride safety bill

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KSFY News first investigated carnival ride safety in South Dakota last summer.

We brought the lack of oversight to the attention of state representative Steve Hickey.

Friday, Hickey's bill passed the House Commerce and Energy committee.

Carnival operators told us what they think about keeping rides safe for all of us this summer.

This summer there might be new regulations for fairs and carnivals operators across the state.

House bill 1168 could soon require carnivals in South Dakota to inspect its rides every 12 months, and many operators say they don't mind the regulation.

Thomas Carnival Inc. President John Hanschen said "there are regulations like this in many states, they vary quite a bit from state to state, but your bill has a lot of things that we see in other places."

State representative Steve Hickey sponsored the bill.  He said it not only holds carnival operators responsible for inspections, but also the riders for their actions.

"The event promoters, they want a bit of a buffer, that there's a bit of a give and take, we'll provide a safe ride if you follow the rules and we'll all enjoy it," Hickey said.

"We must cooperate and try to get better and try to get safe and try to maintain a good relationship the regulators, and states, and the expectations of the public," Hanschen said.

"Certainly there is the potential for somebody to step up and say 'hey, what about this' but I think we've done our homework. It's certainly something the industry is welcoming and I expect to see it signed by the governor," Hickey added.

Many carnival ride operators think these regulations are a good idea and good for business

KSFY News will continue to follow this bill's progress throughout the legislative session.

If HB 1168 passes and the governor signs it into law, it would go into effect this summer.

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