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Ohio State Fair returns with new ride safety requirements

Tyler’s Law is named after 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell who died on the Fire Ball ride in 2017 when it came apart.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — This will be the first year rides are back at the Ohio State Fair since Tyler’s Law went into effect in 2019 requiring new extensive safety inspections on rides.

The law is named after 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell who died on the Fire Ball ride in 2017 when it came apart. An investigation later found the malfunction was due to corrosion and rust.

"Tyler's law really raises the level of safety for amusement rides here in the state of Ohio,” said David Miran with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “It requires them to work with a manufacturer or a third party engineer to figure out mitigation strategies for that fatigue and corrosion which really raises the level of safety for that ride.”

Miran said his team is looking closely at each ride, as ride requirements vary. For kiddie rides like carousels and go-carts, at least one state inspector is required to do an annual review.

For the high-tower rides like the coasters and Megadrop, at least two state inspectors are required to inspect twice annually.

However, Miran says state inspectors typically inspect seven to nine times annually, in addition to the Tally Amusement team conducting daily ride inspections.

"No red flags this year, just business as usual. We had almost 75% of our staff here this weekend performing inspections and making sure the reds are top-notch,” Miran said.

The Ohio State Fair opens on Wednesday and runs through August 7.

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