Virginia County Governments (state law requires county permits)

County Governments (state law requires county permits)
Overview of Amusement Ride Regulation
Regulation Type: 
Government officials inspect rides; ride owners investigate their own accidents
Inspection Program: 

Permits are issued by local building codes enforcement agency. Certified amusement device inspectors must perform the inspections of amusement devices. Certified inspectors may be employees of the local government or may be independent inspectors that are paid by the amusement device owners or operators.

Investigative Authority: 

Ride owners are required to investigate their own accidents and report findings to the county Dept. of Buildings. County officials may follow up.

Reporting Criteria: 

Death or injury requiring overnight hospitalization must be reported to local Building Department. Reports are kept by county, city, or town building department. Contact each local building dept.

Patron Responsibility Law: 

Rider conduct; reports.
A. A rider, or his parent or guardian on a rider's behalf, shall report in writing to the owner or operator any injury sustained on an amusement device before leaving the owner's or operator's premises, or, if the parent or guardian is not present, then as soon as reasonably possible, including (i) the name, address, and phone number of the injured person; (ii) a full description of the incident, the injuries claimed, any treatment received, and the location, date, and time of the injury; (iii) the cause of injury, if known; and (iv) the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident, if known by the rider or his parent or guardian. If the rider, or his parent or guardian on a rider's behalf, is unable to file a report because of the severity of his injuries, he shall file the report as soon as reasonably possible. The failure of a rider, or his parent or guardian on a rider's behalf, to report an injury under this subsection shall have no effect on the rider's right to commence a civil action.
B. A rider shall:
1. Obey the posted rules, warnings, and oral instructions for an amusement device issued by the owner, operator or an employee of the owner or operator; and
2. Not intentionally act in any manner that may cause or contribute to injuring the rider or others, including:
a. interfering with safe operation of the amusement device;
b. Failing to engage any safety devices that are provided;
c. Disconnecting or disabling a safety device except at the express instruction of the owner's or operator's agent or employee;
d. Altering or enhancing the intended speed, course, or direction of an amusement device;
e. Using the controls of an amusement device designed solely to be operated by the owner's or operator's agent or employee;
f. Throwing, intentionally dropping, or intentionally expelling an object from or toward an amusement device;
g. Getting on or off an amusement device except at the designated time and area, if any, at the direction of the owner's or operator's agent or employee, or in an emergency;
h. Not reasonably controlling the speed or direction of the rider on an amusement device that requires the rider to control or direct himself on a ride; and
i. Overloading an amusement device beyond its posted capacity.

Duty of parent or guardian.
Parents or guardians of a rider shall have a duty to ensure that the rider complies with all provisions of this chapter.

Enforcement; civil penalties; limitation.
A. Enforcement of the provisions of this chapter may be brought only as follows:
1. Any law-enforcement officer may issue a summons for a violation of this chapter; and
2. The attorney for the county, city, or town in which the alleged violation occurred may bring an action to recover the civil penalty authorized by subsection B.
B. Except for the failure to report an injury, any person who violates the provisions of this chapter may be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $500. Such penalty shall be paid into the local treasury.

Date of last update: 
September 16, 2008