Did you know that rollercoaster and amusement rides are not federally regulated? It is up to the individual states to regulate and inspect rides.

When you go to a lawn fete or a fair in New York State, every single ride at a fair is inspected at every setup by the New York State Department of Labor. You will see an inspection tag that is visible to riders. Big fairs, such as the Erie County Fair in Western New York, also have an independent inspector in addition to the New York State Department of Labor check.

When it comes to amusement parks, New York State law is that rides only need to be inspected yearly. According to the New York State website:

Department employees inspect all rides at stationary amusement parks at least once a year, and rides at traveling fairs or carnivals are inspected every time the ride is set up in a new location. A ride cannot be operated without a permit from the Department of Labor. For details please see New York State Department of Labor's Code Rule 45.


All amusement rides that pass inspection and are safe to ride will have a DOL inspection tag that is visible at the ride’s point of entry.

You can click on the county and specific amusement parks and rides in order to check the status of the ride inspection.

EXTRA: You know the fish toss game that you see at fairs and lawn fetes in New York State? Are they illegal to be operating? Can they legally let you WIN live fish? Here is the full law according to New York State.

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Gallery Credit: Brett Alan

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