- Associated Press - Friday, July 14, 2017

MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) - Indiana officials are working to ensure the safety of amusement rides in the state.

The elevator and amusement ride division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is responsible for inspecting all mechanical amusement rides in the state once a year, The (Northwest Indiana) Times (https://bit.ly/2tmRv4A ) reported.

Inspections include reviews on “operator training and ride maintenance records, electrical wiring, lighting, safety devices, brakes and other mechanical and structural parts,” said John Erickson, IDHS director of public affairs.

Michigan-based Skerbeck Entertainment Group provides amusement rides for the LaPorte County Fair. The company’s director of marketing Sonja Skerbeck said there haven’t been significant incidents on their rides in recent years. However, the company has seen an increasing problem with cellphone usage on rides, she said.

Some riders will use their phone on a ride and a few have lost grip of their device, leading to minor injuries that required stitches, she said. Because of the incidents, cellphones aren’t allowed on certain rides and riders must place them in a tub if they wish to go on the ride, she said.

Riders should also listen to all rules and signs on rides, such as height requirements, she said.

“They have to listen to the ride operator’s instructions, and stay in a secure position. A lot of people like to stand up on a Ferris wheel. It is important not to wear open-toe shoes. The number one cause of an injury is someone who trips and falls,” Skerbeck said.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.nwitimes.com


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