Peoria Public Radio Staff
Thu August 7, 2014
Illinois State Fair ride safety at fore
With the Illinois State Fair set this evening, officials say they have safety in the forefront of their minds. But, as Hannah Meisel reports, the Illinois Department of Labor has felt a squeeze when it comes to checking carnival rides at the state's many county fairs.
The agency's amusement ride safety division has spent the summer making the rounds to conduct thousands of safety inspections on carnival rides. But the labor department's Ryan Culton says getting those five engineers around the state has been a challenge.
He says because of budget restrictions on travel, the agency has had to get creative. He says schedules and routes are carefully mapped to find the most efficient paths from one fair to the next. But, Culton says, that has NOT affected the quality of the team's work. "We still have a job to do and we take it very seriously, so there hasn't been any reduction in safety at all."
The safety crew will be on hand to check the carnival rides throughout the ten-day fair in Springfield. The event will again boast dozens of rides, but one -- the Tubs of Fun attraction -- has been taken out of the rotation after two children broke their legs on it last year.