South Dakota

Jurisdiction: 
South Dakota
Overview
Unless otherwise indicated, "devices covered" includes mechanical rides at amusement parks, carnivals and fairs.
Devices Covered: 

Excludes slides and other playground equipment; conveyances which operate directly on the ground (e.g., go-karts).

Inspection Program: 

State law requires that portable rides/devices be inspected annually by a certified 3rd-party inspector (NAARSO or AIMS), but there is no state office to monitor compliance or enforce the law. Rides at permanent parks are exempt from the inspection requirement.

Investigative Authority: 

None

Reporting Criteria: 

None

Patron Responsibility Law: 

Only applies to amusement park patrons (not carnival patrons)

42-10-9. Rider obedience of rules, warnings, and oral or prerecorded instructions--Contributory negligence. A rider on an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature is responsible for obeying all posted rules, warnings, and the oral or prerecorded instructions of the operator of the amusement ride or amusement device of a permanent nature, and all of the following:
(1) No rider may board or dismount from an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature except at a designated area;
(2) No rider may throw or expel any object or matter from an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature;
(3) No rider may act in any manner contrary to posted rules, oral rules, or prerecorded oral or video rules or instructions while boarding, riding on, or dismounting from any amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature;
(4) No rider may engage in any reckless act or activity which may tend to injure the rider or others;
(5) While using an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature that requires steering or control of the rider or a car device, each rider shall maintain reasonable control of his or her speed and course at all times. A rider may not steer the ride in such a manner as to harm another person. A rider on an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature where the rider controls the speed or direction of the device or part of the device assumes responsibility to engage the device in a manner that does not harm the rider or others;
(6) No rider may disconnect, disable, or attempt to disconnect or disable any safety device, seat belt, harness, or other restraining device before, during, or after movement of the ride has started except at the express instruction of the operator;
(7) No rider may disembark or attempt to disembark from any amusement ride or amusement device of a permanent nature before, during, or after movement of a ride has started except upon the express instruction of the operator;
(8) No rider may board or attempt to board any amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature if the rider is under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance which impacts his or her ability to safely use the ride and abide by the posted and oral instructions. The operator may prevent a rider who is apparently under the influence of drugs or alcohol from riding on an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature. An operator who prevents a rider from boarding a ride in accordance with this subdivision may not be held criminally or civilly liable if the operator has a reasonable basis for believing that the rider is under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
(9) No rider may alter or enhance the intended speed, course, or direction of an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature by using an unauthorized device, instrument, or other method;
(10) No rider may attempt to gain access to controls of an amusement ride or an amusement device of a permanent nature designed solely to be operated by employees of amusement rides.
If a rider violates any provision of this section, the violation may be used as evidence of contributory negligence in any civil case asserting amusement ride or operator liability.

Special Conditions: 

State law, but no state enforcement. Fixed-site rides are exempt from inspection. Patron responsibility rules apply only to fixed-site rides. (Two SD state legislators are also amusement park owners.)

Date of last update: 
April 9, 2017