State Inspectors Check Rides As OK State Fair Prepares To Open - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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State Inspectors Check Rides As OK State Fair Prepares To Open

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As of Wednesday morning, 50 rides passed inspection. As of Wednesday morning, 50 rides passed inspection.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A team of inspectors is making sure rides are safe for thrill seekers at the Oklahoma State Fair. The rides open Thursday with what state officials say are some of the most stringent safety standards in the nation.

State inspectors have to give the okay before any ride is allowed to open.

"It's a lot of responsibility, it's something I don't take lightly," said Allen McElyea, who has been a state employed carnival ride inspector for six years.

As of Wednesday morning, 50 rides passed inspection. Thirty still waited for the go-ahead to open, many still had something that still needed fixed.

This is McElyea's full time job. He has to be re-certified on a regular basis. Not all states employ carnival ride inspectors. For example, Texas, where a woman was recently killed after she fell from a roller coaster, has a 3rd party inspection program.

"Texas does not have the same high standards as Oklahoma," said Oklahoma Commissioner of Labor Mark Costello. "That is their problem."

Still those who run the rides say even that doesn't come with a guarantee.

"Over 90% of ride accidents are caused by either patron or operator error," says Frank Zaitshik who owns Wade Shows. He says riders should observe the rides, make sure they are safe for them, and follow all safety rules.

Gates open for the fair at 8 a.m. Thursday. Admission is $9 for adults and kids older than 12.

Children ages 6 through 11 will cost $5, and any kids under five are free. The fair runs through September 22.

Be sure to check out the News 9 booth by Gate 1.

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