Says ride safety bill will better protect safety of children and families

State Reps. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and Louis Blessing (R-Colerain Township) today announced Gov. Mike DeWine’s signing of House Bill (HB) 189 titled “Tyler’s Law,” bipartisan legislation that increases Ohio amusement ride safety and inspection standards, qualifications of inspectors and responsibilities of ride owners.

“In the passage of this legislation, we honor Tyler Jarrell and his commitment to serve and protect,” Patterson said. “In the wake of tragedy, I have been honored and blessed to have spent so much time with Tyler’s family, learning of his legacy as we worked to ensure another preventable tragedy like this never happens again. I believe Tyler’s Law is a critical step in better protecting our people.”

HB 189 is named after Tyler Jarrell, who lost his life in the horrific Fire Ball ride accident at the Ohio State Fair two years ago. Seven other individuals were injured, including another 18-year-old woman who passed away last year due to injuries related to the accident.

“Though it saddens us all that tragedy ultimately drove this legislation, we can take comfort that with the passage of this legislation, other families may be spared the grief of losing a loved one from an amusement ride breakdown,” said Blessing. “Furthermore, Ohioans can rest assured that amusement rides in this state will have gone through more rigorous inspections and that all they should have to worry about is having fun.”

HB 189 increases communication among state inspectors, ride manufacturers, ride owners and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) to better assess amusement ride inspections and repairs, including:

  • An enhanced classification system to identify rides that may need more comprehensive or internal inspection.
  • Requiring safety and maintenance communications from the ride manufacturer to be forwarded to ODA.
  • Tracking previous locations of temporary amusement rides prior to their operation in Ohio.
  • Requiring photographic documentation of major repairs before and after they are completed.

Tyler’s Law also increases the certification standards for inspectors and adds a Professional Engineer as a non-voting member to the ODA Advisory Council on Amusement Ride Safety.

The new law takes effect immediately.

Rep. Patterson announces Tyler’s Law signed into law in Ohio