Safety Regulations for U.S. Amusement Rides

Amusement ride safety in the United States is regulated through a patchwork of voluntary standards and federal, state, and local laws.

  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is authorized to investigate accidents and work with manufacturers to correct defects or hazards to specific machinery, but only for mobile rides and devices. Rides operated at amusement parks and water parks are exempt from federal safety oversight.
  • State and local governments are responsible for establishing safety audit/inspection programs for the amusement rides that operate within their jurisdiction. Since federal safety officials are not allowed to address safety problems on permanent park rides, each state/local government must also bear the full burden of safety oversight for its amusement park rides. This includes data collection and trend analysis, technical investigation of serious accidents, and negotiating mitigation of manufacturing defects.