Massachusetts Dept. of Public Safety

Dept. of Public Safety
Overview of Amusement Ride Regulation
Regulation Type: 
Government officials inspect rides and investigate accidents
Inspection Program: 

Permanent rides are inspected at beginning of year and may be subject to spot checks. Portable rides are inspected at every setup. Certified Inspectors (non-state employees) conduct in-depth inspections. State inspectors perform records audit, visual inspection of the device, and operational inspection.

Investigative Authority: 

State inspectors are authorized to investigate serious accidents.

Reporting Criteria: 

Accidents resulting in serious injury or major damage to the ride/device must be reported within one hour. Serious injury is defined as "personal injury/illness that results in death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, permanent loss of the use of a body organ, member, function, or system, a compound fracture, or other significant injury/illness that requires immediate admission and overnight hospitalization and observation by a licensed physician".

Patron Responsibility Law: 

There are inherent risks in the participation in or on any amusement device. Riders accept the risks inherent in such participation of which the ordinary prudent person is or should be aware.

1. Riders shall exercise good judgment and act in a responsible manner while using any amusement device. Riders shall obey all oral warnings by the ride operator, certified maintenance mechanic, or any inspector.

2. Riders shall obey all instructional and warning signs clearly posted on the amusement device.

3. Riders shall not place themselves on any amusement device when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

4. Riders shall use all amusement ride safety devices provided on a ride to ensure their safety. No person shall bypass, remove or make any safety device inoperable.

5. Riders have a responsibility to notify the ride operator of any pre-existing health conditions that may negatively affect the health and safety of the rider if he were to ride the amusement device.

Date of last update: 
September 16, 2008