H. B. 3203
(By Delegates Hrutkay, Mahan, Smirl, Morgan,
Caputo, Calvert and Brown)
[Passed March 8, 2003; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact sections two, twelve-a, fourteen and
seventeen, article ten, chapter twenty-one of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended;
and to further amend said article by adding thereto a new
section, designated section nineteen, all relating to
amusement ride safety; defining terms; allowing certain
children to operate kiddie rides; limiting civil penalties;
allowing owners and operators to refuse admission to certain
patrons; and providing criminal penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections two, twelve-a, fourteen and seventeen, article
ten, chapter twenty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and
that said article be further amended by adding thereto a new
section, designated section nineteen, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10. AMUSEMENT RIDES AND AMUSEMENT ATTRACTIONS SAFETY ACT.
As used in this article:
(a) "Amusement ride" means a mechanical device which carries
or conveys passengers along, around or over a fixed or restricted
route or course for the purpose of giving its passengers amusement,
pleasure, thrills or excitement. The term includes carnival rides
and fair rides of a temporary or portable nature which are
assembled and reassembled or rides which are relocated from place
to place. "Amusement ride" may not be construed to mean any
mechanical device which is coin operated and does not include the
operation of a ski lift, the operation of tramways at state parks,
the operation of vehicles of husbandry incidental to any
agricultural operations or the operation of amusement devices of a
permanent nature which are subject to building regulations issued
by cities or counties and existing applicable safety orders;
(b) "Amusement attraction" means any building or structure
around, over or through which people may move or walk without the
aid of any moving device integral to the building or structure that
provides amusement, pleasure, thrills or excitement, including
those of a temporary or portable nature which are assembled and
reassembled or which are relocated from place to place. The term
does not include any enterprise principally devoted to the
exhibition of products of agriculture, industry, education,
science, religion or the arts and shall not be construed to include any concession stand or booth for the selling of food or drink or
(c) "Kiddie ride" means an amusement ride or amusement
attraction that is expressly designed for or offered to: (1)
Children age twelve or less; (2) persons who are forty-two inches
in height or less; or (3) persons who are ninety pounds in weight
(d) "Intoxicated" means influenced or affected by the
ingestion of alcohol, a controlled substance, any intoxicant or any
combination of alcohol, controlled substances and intoxicants.
(e) "Mobile amusement ride or mobile amusement attraction"
means an amusement ride or amusement attraction which is erected in
a single physical location for a period of less than twelve
(f) "Operator" means the person having direct control of the
starting, stopping and speed of an amusement ride or attraction.
(g) "Owner" means any person, corporation, partnership, or
association who owns an amusement ride or attraction or, in the
event that the amusement ride or attraction is leased, the lessee.
(h) "Stationary amusement ride or stationary amusement
attraction" means an amusement ride or amusement attraction that is
erected in a single physical location for a period of more than
twelve consecutive months.
§21-10-12a. Minimum age for operating amusement ride.
No individual under the age of sixteen may be the operator of
a kiddie ride or if under the age of eighteen be an operator of any
other amusement ride or attraction: Provided, That the individual
is not otherwise prohibited from being an operator pursuant to
other state or federal law.
§21-10-14. Criminal penalty for violation.
Any operator or owner who knowingly permits the operation of
an amusement ride or amusement attraction in violation of the
provisions of sections six, seven, eight, nine, eleven, twelve or
twelve-a of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than two hundred fifty
dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, confined in the county
or regional jail not more than twelve months, or both fined and
confined. Each day that a violation continues shall be considered
a separate violation.
§21-10-17. Civil penalties for violations.
(a) If an individual is convicted of, or enters a guilty plea
or a plea of nolo contendere to, a violation of subsection (a),
section fifteen of this article, and the individual was not the
owner of the ride being operated or assembled, the commissioner may
impose a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars on the
owner of the ride being operated or assembled: Provided, That the
owner knew or should have known that the individual was acting in
violation of subsection (a), section fifteen of this article.
(b) All civil penalties collected by the commissioner shall be
deposited into the amusement rides and amusement attractions safety
fund created in section four of this article.
§21-10-19. Patron responsibility.
The owner or operator of an amusement ride or attraction may
refuse any member of the public admission to a ride if his or her
bearing or conduct could endanger himself or herself or others.
These reasons include, but are not limited to: (1) Intoxication;
(2) refusal to obey posted rules; (3) unacceptable or unsafe
behavior as determined by the operator or the ride; and (4)
violation of any age, height or weight restrictions as posted.