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  • Acts
  • 2002
  • Chapter 44 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE LICENSING OF AMUSEMENT PARKS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Chapter 140 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 205A, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 205A. As used in this section, the words "amusement device" shall mean a mechanical ride or device constructed and designed to carry 1 or more persons for entertainment or amusement purposes and which is powered by means of internal combustion or electrical energy; provided, however, that the commissioner of public safety, hereinafter called the commissioner shall have the discretion to further define an amusement device operated under this section. No person shall, individually or through an agent, operate or cause to be operated a ferris wheel, carousel, inclined railway or similar amusement device unless such person has obtained a license from the commissioner. The commissioner, upon receipt of proof that a person has obtained liability insurance as required by this section and upon certification by the liability insurance carrier that an amusement device has met the safety standards of mechanical strength, rigidity and control established by the commissioner, shall issue a license for the operation of the amusement device. A certificate of examination by a person who possesses a certificate of competency to inspect amusement devices, issued under section 62 of chapter 146, and a certificate of liability insurance shall be furnished to the commissioner 10 days prior to the opening of the amusement device. The fee for a license under this section shall be determined annually by said commissioner of administration under section 3B of chapter 7 for the filing thereof. The license shall expire 1 year from the date of issuance, unless revoked for cause, and shall be valid throughout the commonwealth. A traveling carnival shall notify the commissioner at least 1 month in advance as to the location and dates that the carnival will be in the commonwealth.

If an injury requiring medical treatment has occurred on such an amusement device, reasonably due to a defect or malfunction in the amusement device, or if the amusement device constitutes a hazard to life, limb or property, as determined by the commissioner or his designee or by an agent of the insurance carrier, the amusement device shall be closed immediately and, within 48 hours, the owner or operator shall notify the commissioner or his designee in writing upon a form approved by the commissioner and the insurance carrier. The amusement device shall remain closed until all necessary repairs have been completed to the satisfaction of the commissioner or his designee and the insurance carrier. All such injuries shall be investigated by inspectors in the division of inspection. The licensee shall pay to the commissioner a fee, as determined under chapter 7, for each hour or fraction thereof spent by each inspector while engaged in an investigation.

If the insurance contract expires or is cancelled, notice shall be furnished by the insurance carrier to the commissioner at least 10 days prior to termination and the amusement device shall be closed not later than the date of termination and shall remain closed until insurance is obtained.

Every ferris wheel, carousel, inclined railway or similar amusement device shall have embossed on the control unit and prominently displayed on at least 3 areas of the amusement device procedures for braking and allowing the amusement device to come to a safe stop.

All insurance examiners authorized by this section to conduct examinations shall be certified by the department of public safety. An owner and an operator of an amusement park or amusement device shall each maintain and preserve a log of all regular maintenance schedules, service and repair reports, periodic inspections performed and any accident or injury which may have occurred on an amusement device, which shall be made available upon request to an inspector in the division of inspection. Amusement devices at an amusement park of a permanent nature shall be inspected annually by a certified inspector.

This section shall not apply to recreational tramways, as defined by section 71I of chapter 143, or manually operated amusement rides with coined devices. Owners of permanent or traveling amusement parks shall comply with the standards of the American Society for Testing Materials on amusement rides and devices and shall conduct daily inspections on amusement devices by both ride operators and trained maintenance personnel. Owners shall maintain permanent and extensive training, inspection and maintenance policies relative to routine and emergency safety and shall employ full-time emergency medical personnel and maintain ambulance services within the park. All amusement parks of a permanent or traveling nature shall have at least 1 individual on staff that is certified by the commissioner as qualified to oversee the operation, maintenance and inspection of amusement devices; provided, however, that no minor shall operate an amusement device. The operator of any such park or amusement device shall furnish to the commissioner proof that all amusement devices in the park are covered for an amount of at least $1,000,000 for combined single limit bodily injury and property damage and which meet the rules and regulations as established by the commissioner. Operational programs and policies relative to the training, inspection, maintenance and safety of amusement parks shall be subject to review and modification by the commissioner or his designee. Proof of coverage shall include, but not be limited to, proof of liability insurance issued by an insurance company approved to do business within the commonwealth, or a bond, security or other type of indemnity against liability providing substantially equivalent coverage.

The operator of a permanent or traveling amusement park shall annually certify to the commissioner that a policy has been established to prohibit and prevent the use of drugs and alcohol by park employees in the workplace, and such policy may include a random drug and alcohol testing program for those employees, which meets standards promulgated by the commissioner.

Whoever violates this section shall, for each such violation, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

SECTION 2. Section 60 of chapter 146 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- An individual, who is an employee of an amusement park or who performs or has performed inspections of amusement devices for the division shall be eligible for a certificate of competency to inspect amusement devices.

SECTION 3. The commissioner of public safety, in conjunction with members of the permanent amusement park industry and the American Society for Testing Materials, shall, within 6 months of the effective date of this act, promulgate rules and regulations regarding certification of state inspectors and other individuals certified for the amusement park industry.

Approved February 28, 2002.