South Carolina Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

State: 
South Carolina
Jurisdiction: 
South Carolina
Agency: 
Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Overview of Amusement Ride Regulation
Regulation Type: 
State regulations cede most regulatory functions to industry
Inspection Program: 

Rides must be inspected annually by a state inspector or a private sector "special inspector" who meets the state's criteria for education and experience.

Investigative Authority: 

When a catastrophic accident causes death or hospitalization of at least three people, the ride owner or lessee shall immediately shut down the device from further use. The device may not resume operation until the safety coordinator determines that the catastrophic accident was not caused by a mechanical or structural defect in the amusement device.

If the safety coordinator determines that a catastrophic accident was caused by a mechanical failure or structural defect, the device must remain shut down until repairs are completed and the device is considered operational by a licensed architect, professional engineer, qualified inspector of an insurance underwriter, or other qualified inspector, each of whom must be approved by the director. An affidavit of the inspection and correction of defect must be filed with the director.

Reporting Criteria: 

Accidents resulting in broken bone, overnight hospital stay must be reported by the next business day.

Patron Responsibility Law: 

Section 41-18-320. (A) A rider of a carnival or amusement device shall at a minimum:

(1) obey the posted rules and warnings and instructions for a carnival or amusement device issued by the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner's employee or agent; and

(2) refrain from acting in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider of a carnival or amusement device, or others, including:

(a) exceeding the limits of the rider's ability;

(b) interfering with safe operation of the carnival or amusement device;

(c) not engaging a safety mechanism provided on a carnival or amusement device;

(d) disconnecting or disabling a carnival or amusement safety devise, except at the express instruction of the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner's agent or employee;

(e) altering or enhancing the intended speed, course, or direction of a carnival or amusement device;

(f) using, touching, or tampering with the controls of a carnival or amusement device designed solely to be operated by the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner's agent or employee;

(g) extending arms and legs beyond the carrier or seating area of a carnival or amusement device except at the express direction of the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner's agent or employee;

(h) throwing, dropping, or expelling an object from or toward a carnival or amusement device, except as permitted by the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner's agent or employee;

(i) getting on or off a carnival or amusement device, except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner's agent or employee or in an emergency;

(j) not reasonably controlling the speed or direction of the rider or a carnival or amusement device that requires the rider to control or direct himself or the device; and

(k) overloading a carnival or amusement device beyond its designed capacity.

(B) A rider must not get on or attempt to get on a carnival or amusement device unless the rider, or the rider's parent or guardian on the rider's behalf, reasonably determines that, at a minimum, the rider:

(1) has sufficient knowledge to use, get on, and get off the carnival or amusement device safely without instruction or has requested and received before getting on the carnival or amusement device sufficient information to get on, use, and get off the device safely;

(2) has located, reviewed, and understood any signs in the vicinity of the carnival or amusement device and has satisfied any posted height or other restrictions or requirements;

(3) knows the range and the limits of his ability and knows that the requirements of the carnival or amusement device do not exceed those limits;

(4) is not under the influence of alcohol or any drug that affects his ability to safely use the carnival or amusement device or to obey the posted rules or warnings or instructions; and

(5) is authorized by the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner's agent or employee to get on the carnival or amusement device.

(C)(1) A rider, or a rider's parent or guardian on the rider's behalf, shall report in writing to the owner of the carnival or amusement device any injury sustained on a carnival or amusement device before leaving the owner's premises, including:

(a) the name, address, and phone number of the injured person;

(b) a full description of the incident, the injuries claimed, and any treatment received and the location, date, and time of the injury;

(c) the cause of the injury, if known; and

(d) the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident.

(2) If a rider, or a rider's parent or guardian on the rider's behalf, is unable to file a report because of the severity of the rider's injuries, the rider, or the rider's parent or guardian, shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible.

(3) The failure of a rider, or a rider's parent or guardian on the rider's behalf, to report an injury under this subsection has no effect on the rider's right to commence a civil action.

Section 41-18-330. Parents or guardians of riders have a duty to ensure that the rider complies with all provisions of this article.

Section 41-18-340. (A) A security or law enforcement officer may detain a person for a reasonable time in a reasonable manner for the purpose of conducting an investigation if the security or law enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person has violated any posted rules or warnings or instructions of the owner of the carnival or amusement device or the owner's agent or employee.

(B) In a civil action brought by a person resulting from a detention of a person by a security or law enforcement officer, it is a defense to that action that the security or law enforcement officer who detained the person had reasonable cause to believe that the person had violated a posted rule or warning or instruction of the carnival or amusement device owner, or of the owner's employee or agent, and that the security or law enforcement officer detained the person for a reasonable time in a reasonable manner for the purpose of conducting an investigation of the alleged violation.

Section 41-18-350. (A) The owner of a carnival or amusement device shall display signs that include this statement:

'State law requires riders to obey all posted signs and warnings and instructions and to behave in a manner that will not cause or contribute to injuring themselves or others. Riders must report all injuries before leaving'.

(B) The owner shall display these signs at:

(1) any station for reporting an injury;

(2) any first aid station; and

(3) either:

(a) any entrance or exit to or from the premises designated for riders; or

(b) any area or structure at which riders may purchase admission or obtain authority to use a carnival or amusement device.

Section 41-18-360. A person who wilfully violates this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than two months or both."

SECTION 2. If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this article, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

Date of last update: 
September 16, 2008