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Who Makes Sure Roller Coasters Are Safe?

The state Department of Agriculture regulates amusement rides in Pennsylvania. Here's what to know.

While in West Mifflin offers an assortment of coasters and rides, amusement rides also are a staple at county and community fairs throughout Western Pennsylvania.

About Rides in Pennsylvania

  • More than 8,700 amusement rides and attractions – more than any other state or foreign country -- are registered with the state Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards.
  • There are nearly 1,300 private industry inspectors for the rides. Those inspectors are certified and trained by the state's Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards.
  • The state Department of Agriculture has registered amusement rides since 1984, under the Amusement Ride Safety Act.

Safety Tips for Riders

  • Verify the ride has been inspected according to Pennsylvania Amusement Ride Safety Act standards. (There will be a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania registration plate on the ride.)
  • Before getting in line for the ride, check and follow boarding restrictions, including those for medical concerns, height and weight.
  • Listen to all instructions. (Operators are trained to keep riders safe.)
  • Make sure ride operators are alert. (Do not board a ride if the operator appears to be inattentive.)
  • Keep arms, hands, feet and legs inside the ride at all times.
  • Remain on a ride until it comes to a complete stop.
  • Use shoulder harnesses, seat belts, lap bars or chains appropriately.
  • Stop riding before you get tired. (Tired riders are more likely to be hurt than alert riders.)
  • Stay hydrated. (Not drinking enough water can increase risk of injury or illness on some rides.)
  • When helping a child, be sure a ride is appropriate for him or her and instruct them on proper ride behavior. Ask the operator to stop the ride if you see that the child is crying or in distress.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

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