Summerfest midway official says rides are safe
Sudbury festival organizers say midway rides are regulated and strict safety precautions have to be taken
In the wake of an accident that saw a youngster hospitalized after being ejected from her seat on a carnival ride at a Sudbury music festival, organizers say they have taken precautions to ensure the safety of visitors.
Last year a 14-year-old girl was sent to hospital after coming loose from a spinning swing ride that was part of Sudbury’s annual Summerfest. This year, the midway is being run by a different company, festival organizers said, and safety precautions are being taken to prevent an incident like this from happening again.
"Back when those rides were built, there wasn't the restraint that we have on the new version of it," said Barry Ford, show manager with the "World's Finest Shows" company.
Ford said there are a series of safety measures the company takes to ensure its rides are not dangerous.
"We all check the safety restraints and make sure the people are the right height to go on the rides," he said.
Rides required to meet safety standards
Ford added the midway is inspected annually by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, an organization that regulates the safety of amusement rides in Ontario. The authority also investigated last year’s Summerfest incident.
Summerfest organizer Chris Nerpin said it's the responsibility of the midway company to meet safety standards.
"[For] all the midways we bring in every year, there has to be insurance certificates [and the] Technical Standards and Safety Authority has to sign off on their rides," Nerpin said.
"In fact, that's what the midway has to bring to Summerfest. They're coming in much the same as any of our vendors or entertainers and they have to meet all those standards for them to come in."
Nerpin said last year's incident was not the reason why the festival switched from Gable Brothers Shows to Ford's company.
"For a number of years Summerfest has wanted to get that carnival here into the city," he said. "They have newer equipment and more rides. The issue in the past has usually been that they're not available this weekend."
This year's Summerfest midway, which starts Thursday, will have nine rides — none of which involve the giant spinning swing.