HBA-DMD, RAR H.B. 317 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 317 By: Chavez Public Safety 2/25/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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 BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Title 9, Health and Safety Code, by adding Chapter 761, as follows: CHAPTER 761. AMUSEMENT PARK RIDES 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 regulations. (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. Sec. 761.003. GUIDE FOR INJURIES ON AMUSEMENT RIDES. Requires an 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 parties. SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1998. SECTION 3. Emergency clause.