SENATE, No. 2271
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 17, 1997
By Senators GORMLEY and CAFIERO
An Act concerning carnival amusement ride safety and amending and supplementing P.L.1975, c.105.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 3 of P.L.1975, c.105 (C.5:3-33) is amended to read as follows:
3. a. There is hereby established within the Department of Labor [and Industry] an Advisory Board on Carnival-Amusement Ride Safety to consist of 10 members, of whom one shall be a representative of the carnival-amusement ride manufacturers, one shall be a representative of the carnival-amusement owners, one shall be an owner or operator of a registered fair, one shall be an owner or operator of an amusement park or enterprise, one shall be a representative of the insurance underwriters, one shall be a licensed professional engineer, three shall be public members, and one shall be a representative of the Department of Labor [and Industry] who shall be appointed by the commissioner. The nine citizen members shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Governor shall designate the chairman and vice-chairman of the advisory board.
b. Of the eight members first to be appointed by the Governor, three shall be appointed for terms of 2 years, three for terms of 3 years, and three for terms of 4 years. All appointments thereafter shall be made for terms of 4 years. All members so appointed shall serve until their respective successors are appointed and shall qualify, and any vacancy occurring in the appointed members of the board, by expiration of term or otherwise, shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the unexpired term and the appointee shall serve until a successor is appointed and shall qualify.
(cf: P.L.1975, c.105, s.3)
2. Section 6 of P.L.1975, c.105 (C.5:3-36) is amended to read as follows:
6. The Department of Labor [and Industry], pursuant to the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations [for the safe installation, repair, maintenance, use, operation and inspection of all carnival-amusement rides] as the department may find necessary for the protection of the general public.
(cf: P.L.1975, c.105, s.6)
3. Section 11 of P.L.1975, c.105 (C.5:3-41) is amended to read as follows:
11. No carnival-amusement ride may be operated without a permit issued by the department. Before commencing operations and in each calendar year thereafter, an owner shall apply for a permit to the department on a form furnished by the department and containing such information as the department may require. All carnival-amusement rides shall be inspected before they are originally put into operation for the public's use and thereafter at least once every year, unless authorized to operate on a temporary permit. Annual permits shall be issued for a period commencing January 1 and expiring the following December 31, unless suspended or revoked in accordance with section 6 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill). Carnival-amusement rides [may also be required to] shall be inspected by the owner, in accordance with standards promulgated by the department, each time they are disassembled and reassembled.
(cf: P.L.1977, c.341, s.1)
4. Section 13 of P.L.1975, c.105 (C.5:3-43) is amended to read as follows:
13. Before a new carnival-amusement ride is erected, or whenever any additions or alterations are made which change the structure, mechanism, classification or capacity of any carnival-amusement ride or the physical spacing between rides, the owner shall file with the department a notice of his intentions and any plans or diagrams requested by the department. Such plans and specifications for new carnival-amusement rides, or for additions or alterations thereon, shall be reviewed and [approved] certified by an engineer retained or employed by the [department] owner and licensed in this State as a professional engineer. Upon approval of the plans and specifications the department shall authorize the ride or device for use by the public.
(cf: P.L.1975, c.105, s.13)
5. Section 24 of P.L.1975, c.105 (C.5:3-54) is amended to read as follows:
24. Any person who interferes in any manner with the implementation of or otherwise fails to comply with the provisions of this act, shall be liable to a fine of not more than [$500.00] $5,000 per day for each violation to be adjudged, collected and enforced, in suit filed by the department, pursuant to the provisions of "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.).
(cf: P. L.1975, c.105, s.24)
6. (New section) The department shall have the power to suspend or revoke an owner's permit for any good cause under the meaning and purpose of P.L.1975, c.105 (C.5:3-31 et seq.).
7. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill amends and supplements the "Carnival-Amusement Rides Safety Act," P.L.1975, c.105 (C.5:3-31 et seq.), to provide the Department of Labor, which regulates such rides, with greater discretion with respect to the fines and penalties which may be imposed on ride operators who violate safety standards. Specifically, the bill authorizes the department to revoke or suspend the operating permit of any ride owner for good cause, and increases the fine which may be imposed for violations of the act from not more than $500 to $5,000 per day for each violation. The bill also requires that any plans or diagrams filed with the department related to new rides or to additions or alterations of existing rides be certified by a licensed engineer retained or employed by the ride owner.
These measures are intended to enhance public safety following a recent increase in the number of serious accidents occurring at amusement parks around the State. Through August of the current year, there have been eighteen such reported accidents, compared to an average of approximately twelve serious accidents per year over the last five years.
Authorizes increased fines and penalties for carnival amusement ride safety violations.