Ride Safety at County Fairs in Iowa

With fair season is full swing, carnival rides are certainly a common sight. But some folks will think twice about riding those attractions in light of the recent death at a Texas amusement park.

We talked with the folks at the Plymouth County Fair about their safety measures when it comes to rides.

Roller coasters, Ferrris Wheels and Merry-Go-Rounds are all rides you'd typically see at a county fair.

But are these moving attractions safe to ride?

"They're assembled and dissembled once a week and so every time that takes place,you're able to check everything," said Dean McDermott, Owner of McDermott Family Shows.

McDermott said it's an advantage because they are able to look at each ride thoroughly every week. But the State of Iowa knows that promise isn't enough, which is why it also gets involved.

The State of Iowa inspects these rides once a year, but it can spot check whenever it wants. It checks things like lap bars and safety belts to make sure everything is in working order.

"We pride ourselves on the safety, and like I said so does the state. They've got inspectors around all the time and spot inspects," said McDermott.

He notes the operators take the safety rules that are posted on each ride very seriously. If someone is too short, they're not riding, even if parents say it's OK.

"No that's not OK. You're putting your own child at risk, and that's something that we won't do. No, and I apologize for that, and I shouldn't apologize, it's just a good way of doing business, you don't want anybody hurt," said McDermott.

And it's that mentality that makes local thrill seekers relieved.

"Makes me feel better that they're actually maintained. That way there's no accidents or less chance of an accident. I've got two kids of my own," said Nick Burnett, who was going to ride the attractions.

McDermott says for your own safety, if you see something that isn't right, tell someone.

"Sometimes it may be something that's not even important but they think it is, be sure and tell the operator. As far as the public goes, oh yeah we want to hear it. We can't fix it if we don't know about it," McDermott added.

If you're interested in coming to the Plymouth County Fair the midway will be here through Sunday.