Law:Title 13. Sports, Amusements, And Entertainment. Subtitle D. Other Amusements And Entertainment (Texas)

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Subtitle D. Other Amusements And Entertainment

Contents

Chapter 2151. Regulation Of Amusement Rides

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  2151.001.  Short Title.

This chapter may be cited as the Amusement Ride Safety Inspection and Insurance Act.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  2151.002.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Amusement ride" means a mechanical device that carries passengers along, around, or over a fixed or restricted course or within a defined area for the purpose of giving the passengers amusement, pleasure, or excitement.  The term does not include:

(A)  a coin-operated ride that:

(i)  is manually, mechanically, or electrically operated;

(ii)  is customarily placed in a public location; and

(iii)  does not normally require the supervision or services of an operator;

(B)  nonmechanized playground equipment, including a swing, seesaw, stationary spring-mounted animal feature, rider-propelled merry-go-round, climber, playground slide, trampoline, and physical fitness device; or

(C)  a challenge course or any part of a challenge course if the person who operates the challenge course has an insurance policy currently in effect written by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state or by a surplus lines insurer, as defined by Chapter 981, Insurance Code, or has an independently procured policy subject to Chapter 101, Insurance Code, insuring the operator against liability for injury to persons arising out of the use of the challenge course, in an amount not less than:

(i)  for facilities with a fixed location:

(a)  $100,000 bodily injury and $50,000 property damage per occurrence, with a $300,000 annual aggregate; or

(b)  a $150,000 per occurrence combined single limit, with a $300,000 annual aggregate; and

(ii)  for facilities other than those with a fixed location:

(a)  $1,000,000 bodily injury and $500,000 property damage per occurrence; or

(b)  $1,500,000 per occurrence combined single limit.

(2)  "Class A amusement ride" means an amusement ride with a fixed location designed primarily for use by children younger than 13 years of age.

(3)  "Class B amusement ride" means an amusement ride that is not a Class A amusement ride.

(4)  "Commissioner" means the commissioner of insurance.

(5)  "Department" means the Texas Department of Insurance.

(6)  "Mobile amusement ride" means an amusement ride that is designed or adapted to be moved from one location to another and is not fixed at a single location.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.701(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 363, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.



Subchapter B. Department Powers And Duties

Section  2151.051.  General Powers And Duties.

The commissioner shall administer and enforce this chapter.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.702(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.052.  Fees.

(a) The commissioner shall establish reasonable and necessary fees, in an amount not to exceed $40 per year, for each amusement ride covered by this chapter.

(b)  An amusement ride that consists of two or more self-propelled, four-wheeled vehicles designed to be operated independently and to carry fewer than three persons, including go-carts, is a single amusement ride.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.702(b), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.053.  Information Request.

(a) The department may request information from a sponsor, lessor, landowner, or other person responsible for an amusement ride being offered for use by the public concerning whether insurance required by this chapter is in effect on that amusement ride.

(b)  The person shall respond to the information request not later than the 15th day after the date the request is made.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Subchapter C. Operation Of Amusement Rides

Section  2151.101.  Requirements For Operation.

(a) A person may not operate an amusement ride unless the person:

(1)  has had the amusement ride inspected at least once a year by an insurer or a person with whom the insurer has contracted;

(2)  obtains a written certificate from the insurer or person with whom the insurer has contracted stating that the amusement ride:

(A)  has been inspected;

(B)  meets the standards for insurance coverage; and

(C)  is covered by the insurance required by Subdivision (3);

(3)  except as provided by Section 2151.1011, has a combined single limit or split limit insurance policy currently in effect written by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state or by a surplus lines insurer, as defined by Chapter 981, Insurance Code, or has an independently procured policy subject to Chapter 101, Insurance Code, insuring the owner or operator against liability for injury to persons arising out of the use of the amusement ride in an amount of not less than:

(A)  for Class A amusement rides:

(i)  $100,000 bodily injury and $50,000 property damage per occurrence with a $300,000 annual aggregate; or

(ii)  a $150,000 per occurrence combined single limit with a $300,000 annual aggregate; and

(B)  for Class B amusement rides:

(i)  $1,000,000 bodily injury and $500,000 property damage per occurrence; or

(ii)  $1,500,000 per occurrence combined single limit;

(4)  files with the commissioner, as required by this chapter, the inspection certificate and the insurance policy or a photocopy of the certificate or policy authorized by the commissioner; and

(5)  files with each sponsor, lessor, landowner, or other person responsible for the amusement ride being offered for use by the public a photocopy of the inspection certificate and the insurance policy required by this subsection.

(b)  The inspection certificate and the insurance policy must be filed with the department before July 1 of each year, except that if an amusement ride is inspected more than once a year, the inspection certificate must be filed not later than the 15th day after the date of each inspection.

(c)  A local government may satisfy the insurance requirement prescribed by Subsection (a) by obtaining liability coverage through an interlocal agreement.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.703(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.548, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 363, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1146, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 655, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section 2151.1011.  Liability Insurance For Certain Amusement Rides.

(a) This section only applies to a Class B amusement ride that:

(1)  consists of a motorized vehicle that tows one or more separate passenger cars in a manner similar to a train, but without regard to whether the vehicle and cars operate on a fixed track or course;

(2)  does not travel under its own power in excess of five miles per hour;

(3)  has safety belts for all passengers;

(4)  does not run on an elevated track;

(5)  has passenger seating areas enclosed by guardrails or doors; and

(6)  does not have passenger cars that rotate independently from the motorized vehicle.

(b)  A person may not operate an amusement ride described by Subsection (a) unless the person has an insurance policy currently in effect written by an insurance company authorized to conduct business in this state or by a surplus lines insurer, as defined by Chapter 981, Insurance Code, or has an independently procured policy subject to Chapter 101, Insurance Code, insuring the owner or operator against liability for injury to persons arising out of the use of the amusement ride in an amount of not less than $1 million in aggregate for all liability claims occurring in a policy year.

(c)  A local government may satisfy the insurance requirement prescribed by Subsection (b) by obtaining liability coverage through an interlocal agreement.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 655, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  2151.102.  Inspection Requirements.

(a) The inspection required by Section 2151.101(a) must test for stress-related and wear-related damage of the critical parts of a ride that the manufacturer of the amusement ride determines:

(1)  are reasonably subject to failure as the result of stress and wear; and

(2)  could cause injury to a member of the public as a result of a failure.

(b)  If at any time the inspection reveals that an amusement ride does not meet the insurer's underwriting standards, the insurer shall notify the owner or operator.

(c)  If repair or replacement of equipment is required, it is the responsibility of the owner or operator to make the repair or install the replacement equipment before the amusement ride is offered for public use.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.703(b), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.1021.  Inspection Requirements For Mobile Amusement Rides.

(a) The commissioner shall adopt rules requiring operators of mobile amusement rides to perform inspections of mobile amusement rides, including rules requiring daily inspections of safety restraints.

(b)  Rules adopted under this section may apply to specific rides of specific manufacturers.

(c)  The commissioner shall prescribe forms for inspections required under this section and shall require records of the inspections to be made available for inspection by any municipality, county, or state law enforcement officials at any location at which an amusement ride is operated.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.703(c), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.1022.  Required Records Of Governmental Actions.

(a) A person who operates an amusement ride in this state shall maintain accurate records of any governmental action taken in any state relating to that particular amusement ride, including an inspection resulting in the repair or replacement of equipment used in the operation of the amusement ride.

(b)  The operator shall file with the commissioner quarterly a report, on a form designed by the commissioner, describing each governmental action taken in the quarter covered by the report for which the operator is required by Subsection (a) to maintain records. A report is not required in any quarter in which no reportable governmental action was taken in any state in which the person operated the amusement ride.

(c)  A person who operates an amusement ride shall maintain for not less than two years at any location where the ride is operated, for inspection by a municipal, county, or state law enforcement official, a photocopy of any quarterly report required under this section or Section 2151.103 to be filed with the commissioner.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.703(c), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.103.  Injury Reports.

(a) In this section, "medical treatment" includes treatment administered by a physician or by registered professional personnel under the standing orders of a physician. The term does not include first-aid treatment, the onetime treatment and subsequent observation of minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters, and other minor injuries that do not ordinarily require medical care, even if that treatment is provided by a physician or registered professional personnel.

(b)  A person operating an amusement ride shall maintain accurate records of each injury caused by the ride that results in death or requires medical treatment.

(c)  The operator shall file an injury report with the commissioner on a quarterly basis. The report shall be made on a form prescribed by the commissioner and shall include a description of each injury caused by a ride that results in death or requires medical treatment.

(d)  If no reportable injuries occur in a quarter, the operator is not required to file an injury report.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.703(d), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.104.  Access To Rides.

An owner or operator of an amusement ride may deny entry to the ride to any person if, in the owner's or operator's opinion, the entry may jeopardize the safety of the person or of other amusement ride patrons.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  2151.105.  Signage Requirements.

(a) The commissioner shall adopt rules requiring that a sign be posted to inform the public how to report an amusement ride that appears to be unsafe or to report an amusement ride operator who appears to be violating the law.

(b)  The rules must require the sign to be posted at the principal entrance to the site at which an amusement ride is located or at any location on that site at which tickets for an amusement ride are available.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.703(c), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.106.  Minimum Standards.

(a) An amusement ride covered by this chapter that is sold, maintained, or operated in this state must comply with standards established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) as of May 1, 1999. Those standards are minimum standards.

(b)  To the extent that the standards of the American Society of Testing and Materials conflict with the requirements of this chapter, the more stringent requirement or standard applies.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.703(c), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 2151.107.  Exception For Certain Challenge Courses Meeting Insurance Requirement.

(a) In this section, "challenge course" means a challenge, ropes, team building, or obstacle course, which may include logs, tires, platforms, beams, bridges, poles, ropes, ladders, nets, climbing walls, rock climbing walls, climbing towers, traverses, rock climbing devices, cables, swings, or zip lines, that is constructed and used for educational, team and confidence building, or physical fitness purposes.

(b)  A challenge course or any part of a challenge course is not considered an amusement ride subject to regulation under this chapter if the person who operates the challenge course has a combined single limit or split limit insurance policy currently in effect written by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state or by a surplus lines insurer, as defined by Chapter 981, Insurance Code, or has an independently procured policy subject to Chapter 101, Insurance Code, insuring the operator against liability for injury to persons arising out of the use of the challenge course in an amount of at least:

(1)  for a challenge course with a fixed location:

(A)  $100,000 bodily injury and $50,000 property damage per occurrence with a $300,000 annual aggregate; or

(B)  a $150,000 per occurrence combined single limit with a $300,000 annual aggregate; and

(2)  for a challenge course other than one with a fixed location:

(A)  $1,000,000 bodily injury and $500,000 property damage per occurrence; or

(B)  $1,500,000 per occurrence combined single limit.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 598, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1146, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Subchapter D. Enforcement Provisions

Section  2151.151.  Injunction. The

district attorney of a county in which an amusement ride is operated or, on request of the commissioner of insurance, the attorney general or an agent of the attorney general, may seek an injunction against a person operating an amusement ride in violation of this chapter or in violation of a rule adopted by the commissioner under Section 2151.1021 or 2151.105.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.704(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.152.  Other Enforcement Actions.

(a) A municipal, county, or state law enforcement official may determine compliance with a provision of Subchapter C, other than Section 2151.104, in conjunction with the commissioner and may institute an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this chapter.

(b)  A municipal, county, or state law enforcement official may enter and inspect without notice any amusement ride at any time to ensure public safety.

(c)  The operator of an amusement ride shall immediately provide the inspection certificate and the insurance policy required by Section 2151.101 to a municipal, county, or state law enforcement official requesting the information. A photocopy of the inspection certificate or insurance policy may be provided instead of the certificate or policy.

(d)  Performance or nonperformance by a municipal, county, or state law enforcement official of any action authorized by this chapter is a discretionary act.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.705(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.1525.  Prohibition Of Amusement Ride Operation.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (e), a municipal, county, or state law enforcement official may immediately prohibit operation of an amusement ride if:

(1)  the operator of the amusement ride is unable to provide the documents or a photocopy of the documents required by Section 2151.152(c);

(2)  the law enforcement official reasonably believes the amusement ride is not in compliance with Section 2151.101; or

(3)  the operation of the amusement ride, conduct of a person operating the amusement ride, conduct of a person assembling the amusement ride if it is a mobile amusement ride, or any other circumstance causes the law enforcement official to reasonably believe that the amusement ride is unsafe or the safety of a passenger on the amusement ride is threatened.

(b)  If the operation of an amusement ride is prohibited under Subsection (a)(1) or (2), a person may not operate the amusement ride unless:

(1)  the operator presents to the appropriate municipal, county, or state law enforcement official proof of compliance with Section 2151.101; or

(2)  the commissioner or the commissioner's designee determines that on the date the amusement ride's operation was prohibited the operator had on file with the board the documents required by Section 2151.101 and issues a written statement permitting the amusement ride to resume operation.

(c)  If on the date an amusement ride's operation is prohibited under Subsection (a)(3) the amusement ride is not in compliance with Section 2151.101, a person may not operate the amusement ride until after the person subsequently complies with Section 2151.101.

(d)  If on the date an amusement ride's operation is prohibited under Subsection (a)(3) the amusement ride is in compliance with Section 2151.101, a person may not operate the amusement ride until:

(1)  on-site corrections are made;

(2)  an order from a district judge, county judge, judge of a county court at law, justice of the peace, or municipal judge permits the amusement ride to resume operation; or

(3)  an insurance company insuring the amusement ride on the date the amusement ride's operation was prohibited:

(A)  reinspects the amusement ride in the same manner required by Section 2151.101; and

(B)  delivers to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee and the appropriate law enforcement official a reinspection certificate:

(i)  stating that the required reinspection has occurred;

(ii)  stating that the amusement ride meets coverage standards and is covered by insurance in compliance with Section 2151.101; and

(iii)  explaining the necessary repairs, if any, that have been made to the amusement ride after its operation was prohibited.

(e)  Subsection (a) does not apply to an amusement ride with a fixed location and operated at an amusement park that was attended by more than 200,000 customers in the year preceding the inspection under Section 2151.152(b).

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.705(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.1526.  Prohibition Of Mobile Amusement Ride Operation.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) or (c), a mobile amusement ride on which a death occurs may not be operated.

(b)  If a mobile amusement ride was in compliance with Section 2151.101 when its operation was initially prohibited under Subsection (a), a person may resume operating the mobile amusement ride only after an insurance company insuring the amusement ride on the date its operation was prohibited:

(1)  reinspects the amusement ride in the same manner required under Section 2151.101; and

(2)  delivers to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee a reinspection certificate:

(A)  stating that the required reinspection has occurred;

(B)  stating that the amusement ride meets coverage standards and is covered by insurance in compliance with Section 2151.101; and

(C)  explaining the necessary repairs, if any, that have been made to the amusement ride after its operation was prohibited.

(c)  If a mobile amusement ride was not in compliance with Section 2151.101 when its operation was initially prohibited under Subsection (a), a person may resume operating the mobile amusement ride only after the person subsequently complies with Section 2151.101.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.705(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.1527.  Relief From Prohibition Order.

The owner or operator of the amusement ride may file suit for relief from a prohibition under Section 2151.1525 or 2151.1526 in a district court in the county in which the amusement ride was located when the prohibition against operation occurred.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.705(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  2151.153.  Criminal Penalties.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person fails to comply with any requirement of:

(1)  Section 2151.101, 2151.102, 2151.103, 2151.1525(b), (c), or (d), or 2151.1526(a); or

(2)  a rule adopted by the commissioner under Section 2151.1021 or 2151.105.

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person:

(1)  is a sponsor, lessor, landowner, or other person responsible for an amusement ride being offered for use by the public; and

(2)  does not provide the information required under Section 2151.053 or provides false information under Section 2151.053.

(c)  An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

(d)  Each day a violation of this chapter is committed constitutes a separate offense.

(e)  The prosecuting attorney in a case in which a person is convicted of an offense under this section shall report the offense to the department not later than the 90th day after the date of the conviction.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.706(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.


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