By Chavez                                              H.B. No. 317
         Line and page numbers may not match official copy.
         Bill not drafted by TLC or Senate E&E.
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to amusement park safety.
 1-4           SECTION 1.  Title 9, Health and Safety Code, is amended by
 1-5     adding a new Chapter 761 to read as follows:
 1-6                      CHAPTER 761. AMUSEMENT PARK RIDES
 1-7                 Sec. 761.001.  GENERAL PROVISIONS.  DEFINITIONS:
 1-8                 (1)  "Amusement park" means any permanent indoor or
 1-9     outdoor facility or park where amusement rides are available for
1-10     use by the general public; term specific only to permanent
1-11     amusement and water parks;
1-12                 (2)  "Amusement ride" has the meaning assigned by
1-13     Section 2, Art. 21.60, Insurance Code.  In addition, the term
1-14     includes any water-based recreational attraction, including all
1-15     waterslides, wavepools and waterparks;
1-16                 (3)  "Amusement rider operator" means a person, firm or
1-17     corporation that is engaged in operating for the public an
1-18     amusement structure or ride at a permanent amusement or waterpark;
1-19                 (4)  "Rider" means a person who is:
1-20                       (A)  waiting in the immediate vicinity of an
1-21     amusement ride in order to get on that ride;
 2-1                       (B)  in the process of leaving the ride but
 2-2     remains in its' immediate vicinity; or
 2-3                       (C)  a participant or passenger on an amusement
 2-4     ride.
 2-5           Sec. 761.002.  SAFETY ON AMUSEMENT RIDES.  (a)  An amusement
 2-6     park shall inform riders in writing, where appropriate, of the
 2-7     nature of the ride, including the factors which would assist riders
 2-8     in determining whether they should participate in the ride activity
 2-9     and the rules concerning conduct on each ride.  Information may be
2-10     given verbally at the beginning of each ride or posted in writing
2-11     conspicuously at the entrance of each ride.
2-12           (b)  Riders are responsible for abiding by the posted rules
2-13     and verbal instructions of the amusement park operator.
2-14           (c)  A rider may not:
2-15                 (1)  board or dismount from an amusement ride except at
2-16     the designated area;
2-17                 (2)  board an amusement ride if he or she has a
2-18     physical condition that may be aggravated by participation in the
2-19     ride;
2-20                 (3)  disconnect, disable or attempt to disable,
2-21     disconnect, any safety device safety device, seat belt, harness, or
2-22     other restraining device, before, during or after movement of an
2-23     amusement ride except at the express instruction of the ride
2-24     operator;
2-25                 (4)  throw or expel any object from an amusement ride;
 3-1                 (5)  act in any manner contrary to posted or oral rules
 3-2     while boarding, riding or dismounting from an amusement ride; or
 3-3                 (5)  engange in any reckless act or activity which may
 3-4     injure himself or others.
 3-5           (d)  A rider may not board or attempt to board an amusement
 3-6     ride if he or she is intoxicated:
 3-7                 (1)  an operator of an amusement park may prevent a
 3-8     rider who is perceptibility or apparently intoxicated from boarding
 3-9     an amusement ride;
3-10                 (2)  an operator who prevents a rider from boarding an
3-11     amusement ride under this section is not criminally or civally
3-12     liable if the operator reasonably believes that the rider is
3-13     intoxicated.
3-14           (e)  A rider may not alter or enhance the intended speed,
3-15     course or direction of a ride by using any unauthorized device,
3-16     instrument or method.
3-17           (f)  A rider embarking on a ride after failing to pay
3-18     appropriate consideration for its use, when required by an
3-19     amusement park rules and regulations, shall be considered a
3-20     trespasser.
3-21           (g)  A rider shall not attempt to gain access to controls of
3-22     an amusement rider designed solely to be operated by the employees
3-23     of the amusement park.
3-24           Sec. 761.003.  GUIDE FOR INJURIES ON AMUSEMENT RIDES.
3-25     (a)  An amusement park shall post signes and notices in conspicuous
 4-1     locations throughout the park informing riders of the importance of
 4-2     reporting all injuries sustained on the amusement park premises.
 4-3           (b)  A rider, or the parent or guardian of a minor rider on
 4-4     the rides acting on the minor's behalf, shall report in writing to
 4-5     the amusement park facility or its designated agent any injuries
 4-6     sustained on an amusement ride before leaving the amusement
 4-7     facility premises, unless the rider, or the parent or guardian of a
 4-8     minor rider, is unable to file a report because of the severity of
 4-9     the injuries to the rider.  The report shall be filed as soon as
4-10     reasonably possible and must include:
4-11                 (1)  the name, address and telephone number of the
4-12     injured person;
4-13                 (2)  if the injured person is a minor, the name,
4-14     address and telephone number of the parent, or guardian filing the
4-15     report;
4-16                 (3)  a brief description of the incident causing the
4-17     injury, including the location, date, and time of the injury;
4-18                 (4)  a description of the injury, including the cause,
4-19     if known; and
4-20                 (5)  the name, address and telephone numbers of any
4-21     known witnesses to the incident.
4-22           (c)  The actions of any rider who violates the provisions of
4-23     Subsection (B), (C) or (D) may be considered by the court in civil
4-24     action brought by a rider against the amusement park operator for
4-25     injuries sustained while at the amusement park for the purposes of
 5-1     allocating fault between the parties.
 5-2           SECTION 2.   This Act takes effect September 1, 1998.
 5-3           SECTION 3.   The importance of this legislation and the
 5-4     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
 5-5     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
 5-6     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
 5-7     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.