Legislators Introduce Bills to Modify Michigan’s Amusement Park Safety Requirements

LANSING, Mich. (March 17, 2021) — Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) and Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Lowell) have introduced legislation to improve the safety measures of Michigan’s various carnivals and amusement park attractions.

Senate Bill 253 and House Bill 4527 would increase requirements carnival and amusement park operators would need to meet to secure permits for safe operation, with a possible $2,500 fine each day a mechanical, structural, or electrical defect is detected and not addressed.

The legislation was developed in response to the tragic story of Rachel Gibbs, who in August 2015, went to AJ’s Family Fun Center in West Michigan with her family and needed medical intervention after the scarf she wore got caught in a go-kart’s wheels and snapped her windpipe. She was not adequately warned about the danger her scarf posed, and staff were also not adequately prepared to treat such a medical emergency after it happened.

“Rachel’s story is a tragic one, yet something that we in the legislature are very capable of ensuring happens to no one else,” Sen. Brinks said. “After many discussions with the family, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and other stakeholders, it is my hope this legislation will not only bring some peace to Rachel’s family, but also equip LARA with the tools it needs to enforce rules and regulations.”

Among other provisions that would be enforced by this legislation are:

“These are important reforms we’ve been working on for years with great help and assistance from Rachel’s family. It became quite clear the state of Michigan could be doing more to keep people safe on carnival rides,” said Rep. Albert. “This legislation makes customer safety the unquestioned top priority, and emphasizes staff training. I am hopeful these changes will help bring peace of mind to Michigan families as they enjoy local fairs and amusement parks going forward.”

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More news:

Senate District 29 Update Senate District 29 Update Sen. Brinks Introduces Legislation to Protect Public Health Officials

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