Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 317
By: Chavez
Public Safety


Currently, amusement park rides are equipped with seat belts or harnesses
and post warnings of the requirements that must be followed to ensure the
rider's safety.  However, some riders disobey these requirements as well as
an operator's instructions and thereby endanger themselves.  H.B. 317
requires an amusement park to inform its riders of the nature of the ride
and prohibits certain actions by riders.  The bill gives guidelines for a
person to follow when a person is injured on a ride. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Title 9, Health and Safety Code, by adding Chapter 761,
as follows: 


Sec. 761.001.  GENERAL PROVISIONS.  Defines "amusement park," "amuseent
(sic) ride," "amusement ride (sic) operator," and "rider." 

Sec. 761.002.  SAFETY ON AMUSEMENT RIDES. (A) Requires an amusement park to
inform riders in writing, where appropriate, of the nature of the ride,
including factors which would assist riders in determining whether they
should participate in the ride activity and the rules concerning conduct on
each ride.  Authorizes giving information verbally at the beginning of the
ride or posting it conspicuously at the entrance of each ride.   

(B) Provides that riders are responsible for abiding by the posted rules
and verbal instructions of the amusement park operator.   

(C)  Prohibits a rider from boarding or dismounting a ride except at the
designated area; from boarding an amusement ride if the rider has a
physical condition that might be aggravated by participation in the ride;
from disconnecting, disabling or attempting to disable or disconnect any
safety device before, during, or after movement of an amusement ride except
at the express instruction of the ride operator; throwing or expelling any
object from an amusement ride; acting in any manner contrary to posted or
oral rules while boarding, riding, or dismounting from a  ride; or engaging
in any reckless act or activity which may injure  the rider or others. 

(D)  Prohibits a rider from boarding or attempting to board an amusement
ride if the rider is intoxicated.  Authorizes an operator of an amusement
park to prevent from boarding a rider who is perceptibly or apparently
intoxicated.  Provides that an operator who prevents a rider from boarding
an amusement ride is not criminally or civilly  liable if the operator
reasonably believes that the rider is intoxicated. 

(E)  Prohibits a  rider from altering or enhancing the intended speed,
course, or direction of a ride by using any unauthorized device,
instrument, or method.   
 (F)  Requires that a rider is considered a trespasser if a rider embarks
on a ride after failing to pay as required by amusement park rules and

(G) Prohibits a rider from attempting to gain access to controls of an
amusement rider (sic) designed solely to be operated by employees of the
amusement park.   

amusement park to post signs and notices in conspicuous locations
throughout the park informing riders of the importance of reporting all
injuries sustained on amusement park premises.  Requires a rider or the
parent or guardian of a minor rider to report in writing to the amusement
park facility or its agent any injuries sustained on an amusement ride
before leaving the amusement premises, unless the rider or the parent or
guardian of a minor rider is unable to file a report because of the
severity of the injuries to the rider.  Requires the report to be filed as
soon as reasonably possible and include the name, address, and telephone
number of the injured person and parent or guardian filing the report if
the injured person is a minor; a brief description of the incident causing
the injury, including location, date, and time of the injury; a description
of the injury, including the cause, if known; and the name, address, and
telephone numbers of any known witnesses to the incident.  Authorizes the
court to consider the actions of any rider who violates the provisions of
Subsections (B), (C), or (D) in civil action brought by a rider against the
amusement park operator for the purpose of allocating fault between the

SECTION 2.  Effective date: September 1, 1998.

SECTION 3.  Emergency clause.