York Fair rides receive at least three safety inspections

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. --  The York Fair kicks off Friday with dozens of rides on the midway.

After several amusement ride malfunctions and accidents nationwide this year, some may have concerns about the safety of some rides.

York Fair management said there's a three-step approach to make sure fairgoers only fear some of the wild rides, but not for their safety.

Looking at the rides arrive at the fair, Shasta Markle tells her daughter "no you can't get on that, it's too, too big. It's too big.""

Crews will set up nearly 50 rides on the York Fair midway to thrill kids of all ages, big and small.

York Fair general manager Mike Froehlich said "we've got coasters, we got rides that go around and around, this way and that way, and so forth, that the carousel and kiddie land is always popular. There's a wide range of rides here."

After a summer of amusement ride mishaps, some may worry about if the screams coming from rides are shouted with delight or danger.

"As a parent watching something like that happen, yes, and there's stuff that always goes into your head with what happened," Markle said.

"Well, you always have to be aware, things do happen," Froehlich said.

In Pennsylvania, all amusement companies must register their company and ride equipment with the Department of Agriculture, every year.

At fairs and carnivals, each portable ride must be inspected every time its set up. The attraction is only allowed to operate if it passes a state inspection. Froehlich explained it's only the first step to keeping riders safe.

"Ride safety inspectors, they have a tremendous program, then the ride company itself does daily inspections. The ride company also hired a third party inspector who comes in an inspects the rides as well," Froehlich said.

Safety inspections as accident prevention may calm some riders fears.

"I'm really confident about what rides are safe, and what rides are not," Markle said.

"We're very pleased with the safety program we have here at the fair. we just encourage everyone to come out and have fun," Froehlich said.

Froehlich said the fair has a good safety track record.

In 2001, a 7-year-old boy died after an accident on the Flitzer roller coaster at the fair.  It's the only fatal incident at the fair in 15 years.