A meaningful step today in ensuring South Dakota families are safe while having summer fun.
Governor Dennis Daugaard signed the 'Carnival Safety' bill into law, that means carnival operators are now mandated to have their rides inspected.
And it all started with an accident and an investigation.
When we found South Dakota had no laws regulating carnival ride safety, it surprised many carnival goers and legislators. We raised that concern with state representative Steve Hickey who drafted a bill which is now law.
"We'll never know the official outcome of what we've done but I'd like to think that there's not an accident that's coming down the road. And whatever you believe about fate, I think that we're going to spare somebody some grief because we have safer rides. So we'll never know but I think it's a good thing," Hickey said.
Senator Al Novstrup not only runs a family entertainment center, he co-sponsored the bill.
"What it will mean for the entire amusement industry, including mine, is we'll be required to have insurance, we'll be required to do inspections and there will be rider responsibility," Novstrup said.
With the new law, South Dakota joins the ranks of other states in our area in promoting carnival safety.
Governor Dennis Daugaard said "I think it's good for carnival ride owners when they have a law that's similar to other states. They can operate among the states and know that as they move from place to place the law will be uniform for them."
"I think it means that when you go to that amusement park or that attraction or that carnival that you can expect that there's been daily inspections and that there's going to be a higher degree of safety than there was before the bill," Novstrup said.
The safety rules for Carnival operators and riders goes into effect This summer but most thrill seekers probably won't notice a difference since the goal is to prevent an accident.