COLUMBUS, Ohio — This year, rides are back at fairs across the state, including at the popular Ohio State Fair. And it's a bittersweet moment for one mother who spearheaded a movement to make rides safer.
Ride safety became personal for Amber Duffield in 2017. Her son was killed on the Fire Ball ride on opening day of the Ohio State Fair.
Excessive corrosion was later blamed for the breakage of the ride's steel support beam. What's known as Tyler's Law in Ohio helps ensure proper inspection of rides.
Tyler's Law requires owners to complete a visual inspection while looking for fatigue and corrosion.
Tyler's Law requires owners to complete a visual inspection while looking for fatigue and corrosion. Inspectors must also remove access panels to look at the interior, structure beams and connections.
If corrosion or cause for concern is found, the owner must contact the ride manufacturer to discuss the problem and fix it. Owners must meet a manufacturer's minimum requirements before the ride can be operational.
If a manufacturer no longer exists, owners have to turn to a certified engineer to discuss and find solutions. When an inspector from the Ohio Department of Agriculture is on scene, they are now required to see the documentation that requirements are met. That documentation must be completed at least twice a year and stay with the ride its entire life, as well as be transferred to any future owner.
Tyler's Law also deals with rides that are used in Ohio but are also used out-of-state or stored out of state for more than 30 days. Those rides also have to be inspected with all the same paperwork before they can be operational in Ohio.
Duffield says the law doesn't bring her son back but it does help ensure Ohioans are safe while having fun this summer.
"That's really what Tyler did," she told 10TV, approaching five years since his death. "He enjoyed life and lived and he made sure everyone else did that as much as possible. This is to keep him alive... and remind them."