This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Amusement Rides and Amusement Attractions Safety Act."
(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 souvenirs;
(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 or less;
(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 consecutive months;
(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.
(b) The Division may charge additional inspection fees equal to the annual inspection fee for additional inspections required as the result of the condemnation of a device for safety standards violations and for inspections required as a result of accidents involving serious or fatal injury. If any owner or operator requires an inspection as the result of a violation of the permitting requirements of section six of this article, the Division shall charge the owner or operator seventy-five dollars per hour in addition to the established inspection fee, including travel time.
(c) All fees received shall be deposited in a special revenue account in the State Treasury known as the "Amusement Rides and Amusement Attractions Safety Fund". The Division may use moneys from the fund for the purpose of enforcement of the provisions of this article. Expenditures are not authorized from collections, but are to be made only in accordance with appropriation by the Legislature and in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twelve of this code and upon fulfillment of the provisions of article two, chapter eleven-b of this code.
(d) No inspection fee may be charged public agencies.
(e) The Division shall issue, and the owner, operator or both of the amusement rides and amusement attractions shall visibly display to the public, inspection stickers denoting and signifying that the inspection and permit fee authorized by this section has been paid or waived.
(b) The Division shall certify all special inspectors who are employed by insurance providers that write insurance policies for amusement rides and amusement attractions required by section twelve of this article. The Division may suspend or revoke any certification of a special inspector upon a showing of good cause. The Division shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code providing an application process and minimum qualifications for certification of special inspectors. The Division may charge an annual certification fee not to exceed fifty dollars.
availability to public.
If, after inspection, an amusement ride or amusement attraction is found to comply with the rules of the division, the division shall issue a permit to operate. The permit shall be in the form of a certificate of inspection and shall be kept in the records of any operator or owner for a three-year period and shall be readily accessible to the public for inspection at any reasonable time at the carnival, fair or event where the amusement ride or attraction is located. A copy of the certificate, showing the last date of inspection, shall be affixed to the amusement ride or amusement attraction upon issuance.
investigations; records available to public.
An owner or operator of an amusement ride or amusement attraction shall notify the division not later than twenty-four hours after any fatality or accident occurring as a result of the operation of the amusement ride or amusement attraction that results in a serious physical injury to any person requiring medical treatment or results in a loss of consciousness to any person. The notice may be oral or written. The division shall investigate each fatality or accident and any safety-related complaint involving an amusement ride or amusement attraction in this state about which the division receives notice. Every owner or operator of an amusement ride or amusement attraction shall keep a record of each accident or fatality and the record shall be kept with the certificate of inspection required by this article and shall be readily accessible to the public for inspection at any reasonable time at the carnival, fair or event where the amusement ride or amusement attraction is located.
Any person, firm or corporation operating an amusement ride or amusement attraction may be served with civil process in the same manner as if the owner or operator was a domestic or foreign corporation.
Nothing contained in this article prevents cities and counties from regulating carnivals, fairs or amusement rides and amusement attractions with regard to any aspect not relating to installation, repair, maintenance, use, operation and inspection of amusement rides and amusement attractions.
(b) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars and not more than two thousand five hundred dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail for not less than thirty days and not more than one year, or both.
(c) The clerk of the magistrate court or circuit court in which a person is convicted of a violation of this section shall notify the commissioner within ten days of the conviction.
(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.
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 of the ride; and (4) violation of any age, height or weight restrictions as posted.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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